President Biden blamed skyrocketing energy costs on the war in Ukraine on Saturday after average gasoline prices reached $5 per gallon for the first time in the U.S.
“It’s outrageous what the war in Ukraine is causing,” Mr. Biden told reporters when asked about the price of gas.
He added that he would “keep pushing” to bring down costs by tapping U.S. oil reserves and importing oil from abroad.
“We’re trying very hard to make sure that we can significantly increase the number of barrels of oil that are being pumped out of the reserves. We’ve got 240,000 barrels as well coming from other nations. We’re gonna keep pushing on it.”
The new average per-gallon price marks a $1.93 rise per gallon over the past year. Prices rose by 19 cents over just the last week.
Drivers in some parts of the country are paying far more than the average. The average cost per gallon for Californians is $6.43, according to AAA.
The skyrocketing prices coincide with higher fuel demand as Americans hit the road over the summer.
Although Mr. Biden has consistently blamed skyrocketing energy prices around the globe on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Republicans are not buying the excuse.
“Biden promised to eliminate oil and natural gas, now families are paying the price for his anti-American energy agenda. Biden’s solution? Force Americans to drive less or buy an expensive electric vehicle,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Saturday. “Biden is out of touch and has no real solutions, no plan, and no sympathy for struggling families.”
The prices at the pump are part of an overall surge in consumer prices.
Consumer prices overall have reached 40-year highs. The consumer price index rose 8.6% year-over-year in May, according to Labor Department figures released Friday.
And the price surge shows no signs of slowing. Consumer prices rose 1% on a month-to-month basis in May, up from a 0.3% increase the prior month.
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