Tuesday 15 March 2022

Buttigieg: Oil Prices ‘Largely Outside of Direct Control’ of White House

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Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was asked about the possibility of the White House putting a hold on the nationwide gas tax until gas prices come down in the United States.

Buttigieg noted President Joe Biden was releasing oil from the reserves to help stabilize oil prices and suggested moving on from energy independence. He also argued that no “political figure” directly controls oil and gas prices.

“As you know, the president’s taken a lot of steps to bring relief and to help stabilize oil prices, including that big release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Buttigieg outlined. “Of course, the long-term solution for this is energy independence and a shift to renewable energy here in this country. But let’s also remember that while oil prices and gas prices are famously something that is largely outside of the direct control of any political figure, there are a lot of things that we could be doing right now that would bring direct relief to the pocketbooks of American families that are greater than most any family’s gasoline bill.”

He continued, “That includes lowering the cost of insulin. The president’s for it. We’re getting a lot of pushback … on it. Lowering the cost of childcare. We’re for it. We’re getting a lot of pushback, often from the very same people who are criticizing us over inflation or gas prices. We have the child tax credit that brought relief to families that, you know, for a lot of families, probably most of them, would outweigh any price difference you’re seeing with gas, and we wanted to extend it. A lot of folks who are criticizing us on The Hill killed that. So, if we’re really talking about the bottom line, the balancing of the checkbook of an American family, there are lots of things that are way more under our control than the dynamics of global oil markets at a time when an oil-producing country is going to war. Let’s focus on those as well.”

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