PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The rise in gasoline prices in recent months could be halted if President Joe Biden’s actions announce work on Tuesday.
“Oil producing countries and big business have not increased their oil supplies fast enough to meet demand,” the president said.
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It’s that old equation of supply and demand.
More people are driving than ever, but OPEC countries and US oil producers are failing to meet the needs, so gasoline prices are rising.
“You have producers who benefit greatly from the price hike, and then you have all the consumers who suffer,” says Jeremy Weber, professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
That is why the president said he would market a record 50 million barrels of oil from the country’s strategic oil reserve, and then added a warning to oil producers.
“Gas distribution companies pay less and earn a lot more. They don’t seem to pass it on to consumers at the pump, ”Biden explains.
“This is why I have asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine whether potentially illegal and anti-competitive behavior results in higher prices for consumers,” added the president.
Energy expert Don Bowers, retired from the local gasoline company, doesn’t think local gas dealers are raising prices.
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“They don’t dig, not at all, unless it’s from the big oil companies, and I don’t think they are, either,” Bowers told KDKA financial editor Jon Delano.
Bowers doesn’t think local prices will drop much and could rise even further during the holidays.
Delano: “Does this have an impact on local gasoline prices? “
Arbors: “Not at all. That kind of volume will be dispersed in a matter of days. It is really ridiculous for these presidents when they have a problem like this to go to the Strategic Oil Reserve. The Strategic Oil Reserve is for that, strategic oil reserves if in an emergency we need them. It is not an emergency. “
But Patrick De Haan, head of research at Gas Buddy, is more optimistic.
“I think there will be some relief in the coming weeks. I think it’s possible that the average gasoline prices in Pittsburgh are going down 5 to 15 cents a gallon. Now, if we’re lucky, we might get past that. I think we’ll get at least 5 cents of relief, probably closer to 10 or 15, maybe even 20 in the coming weeks, ”predicts De Haan.
While gasoline prices here still seem to be around $ 3.55 a gallon, Gas Buddy reports local pumps at $ 3.29. For even lower prices, cross the border to Ohio where prices are around $ 2.84 per gallon.
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Bottom line: No one is sure this action by President Biden will lower gas prices, but the White House was under pressure to do something, so Biden did what Trump, Obama, and Bush also did to deal with the shortages.