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Gas prices reach new record highs as GOP senators blame Biden for holding back production

Average gas prices in the US reached a new record high on Thursday, according to AAA’s gas price calculator, after Republican senators cracked down on the Biden administration for a “de facto ban on new drilling”.

The national average cost of a regular liter of gasoline now $ 4,589 early Thursday morning. This price topped Wednesday̵[ads1]7;s previous record of $ 4,567, which had broken Tuesday’s record of $ 4,523, which in turn had broken Monday’s record of $ 4,470.

The price comes as the EU edges towards oil sanctions against Russia in the midst of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. It also comes in the midst of record high inflation, and the consumer price index reaches 8.3% in April, and hovers close to March’s 40-year height. The price increase also follows the Department of the Interior’s cancellation of an oil and gas lease sale for more than $ 1 million in Alaska’s Cook Inlet last week, which the DOI attributed to a “lack of industrial interest.” The DOI also canceled two leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gas prices have risen by 50% on a national basis over the past year (Getty Images / Getty Images)

The White House has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the record high gas prices in the United States, and has even designated the increase as “#PutinPriceHike” and promises that President Biden will do everything he can to protect Americans from “pain at the pump”. “


Biden announced last month that Environmental protection agency will allow sales of E15 petrol – petrol using a 15% ethanol blend – across the country this summer. Biden has also moved to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve for the next 6 months. The president also urges Congress to get companies to pay taxes on idle oil wells and non-producing acres of federal land, with a view to stimulating new production.

Nevertheless, critics have argued that Biden’s actions on energy policy have created a “supply problem” in the market.

Twenty Republican senators, led by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo asking the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to quickly issue permits required to bring further production online from existing offshore federal oil and gas leases .

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (Fox News)

“While the Biden administration and members of Congress blame the domestic oil and gas industry for sitting still on over 9,000 drilling permits and millions of acres in ‘inactive leases’, NMFS’s permit delays represent an example of the administration’s de facto ban on new drilling – preventing domestic oil and gas investments, exploration and production, “the senators wrote.


Senators attributed the delays to “three administration-made and admitted errors” that trace back to mathematical errors in the calculation of the number of endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico in a final rule from 2021 that regulates offshore oil and gas exploration.

“It is unacceptable that the agency’s miscalculations have limited access to safe, secure and reliable domestic oil and gas production through significant, unnecessary and arbitrary delays,” they added.

During his first week in office, Biden signed an executive order temporarily suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands. The administration resumed the new lease last month after legal challenges to the ban. The administration is anchoring a ruling in which Judge James Cain, a Trump nominee, overturned the ban.

Steve Milloy, a former transition member of the Trump-Pence EPA and founder of, accused the president of a lack of US oil production.


“I blame Biden for all the lack of production. He has scared away investments,” Milloy told FOX Business last week. He suggested that the president would find “any excuse for not drilling. They even tried to use the social costs of carbon decision to stop leasing.”

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