Jun 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg: “Price of gasoline is not set by a dial in the Oval Office”

Soaring gas prices across the country are out of the White House's hands, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday as he rebuked oil company executives for not upping production.

Driving the news: Gas prices have continued surging and look headed for $5 a gallon nationwide, writes Axios' Matt Phillips.

The big picture: "I don't think it's correct to say it hasn't made any difference at all," Buttigieg said about Biden's decision earlier this year to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

  • "This is an action that helped to stabilize global oil prices," Buttigieg said, adding that Biden's actions around ethanol fuels have also had an effect.

What he's saying: "We know that the price of gasoline is not set by a dial in the Oval Office," Buttigieg added.

  • "When an oil company is deciding, hour by hour, how much to charge you for a gallon of gas, they're not calling the administration to ask what they should do. They're doing it based on their goal on maximizing their profits."
  • Buttigieg said President Biden has called for policy to induce oil executives to increase production, but "so far, congressional Republicans have blocked action to do something like that."

Go deeper: Why gas prices are so high and what Biden can do about it

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