Source: Sophie Mann

Eleven Senate Democrats are urging President Biden and his administration to take action to lessen the burden of rising gas prices on American drivers.

The senator made the request in a Nov. 8 letter, whose signatures included those of Sens. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut; Maggie Hassan, of New Hampshire, and Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, both of Massachusetts. They encourage the president and fellow Democrats to explore available options to lower the cost of gas to consumers at the pump.

“According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is the highest it has been since 2014, with an increase of more than $1 per gallon since this time last year. In our home states, high gasoline prices have placed an undue burden on families and small businesses trying to make ends meet, and have proven especially burdensome as our constituents continue to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the Nov. 8 letter.

Under the Trump administration, the U.S. reached full energy independence, a position that was reversed when Biden assumed office and canceled a number of domestic gas and oil deals that placed the U.S. energy supply back in the hands of foreign entities. One of those entities is OPEC, which has opted to maintain its gradual output increase despite Biden’s recent plea.

The senators also wrote: “We share the administration’s concerns that the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others to purposefully manipulate gas prices by constraining supply, as well as the choice of domestic leaseholders and producers to continue to export U.S. petroleum, threaten to send already record prices even higher.” 

They also argued: “Continued U.S. exports and overseas supply collusion could be devastating to many in our states, contributing to higher bills for American families and businesses.”

Last month, U.S. gas prices exceeded the average price of $3.40 a gallon, more than $1.25 above the national average from October 2020. During a town hall event in late October, the president said he does not have a “near-term answer” to rising gas prices and does not anticipate that they will come down until 2022.

Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm laughed during a recent interview when a Bloomberg reporter asked about plans to increase U.S. oil production.