Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is demanding that President Biden take unilateral action to lower gasoline prices, warning the White House is not taking seriously enough the consumer angst when filling up.
Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said that skyrocketing prices at the pump were a consequence of the supply chain crisis that has wracked much of the country.
”No industry is spared. But gasoline is the worst of all,” he said at a press conference Sunday. “Let’s get the price of gas down right now. And this will do it.”
Mr. Schumer urged Mr. Biden to mobilize the powers of the federal government to ensure Americans had access to affordable gasoline. He said the president should consider tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to alleviate the price crunch.
“We’re here today because we need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” the senator said.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which runs upwards of 621 million barrels, is an emergency supply of fuel housed by the Department of Energy. The reserve is kept to ensure the U.S. has adequate access to fuel in times of national crisis.
Gas prices have soared since Mr. Biden took office. According to consumer groups, the price of gasoline-per-gallon is more than a dollar higher than it was in November 2020.
Last week, the national average for a gallon of gasoline was priced at $3.41. The average price when Mr. Biden took office in January was $2.39 per gallon.