President Joe Biden pressed the Federal Trade Commission to probe possible illegal conduct in U.S. gasoline markets.
In a letter to Wednesday to FTC Chair Lina Khan, the president expressed concern about the difference between pump prices and the cost of wholesale fuel, while citing what he said was “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”
“The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining,” Biden said in the letter. “The Federal Trade Commission has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately.” He added, “I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct.”
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.41. That is $1.29 more than a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association, and a seven-year high. Although the national average dropped a penny last week, gas prices in California broke a new record Tuesday with an average price tag of $4.687 for a gallon of regular.
FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan told AFP, “The FTC is concerned about this issue, and we are looking into it.” In response to a previous request over the summer from Biden to examine gas prices, FTC Chair Lina Khan pledged to investigate any collusion that might be fueling the inflation, as well as take a closer look at mergers in the industry that reduce competition.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PILOT ONLINE
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