President Joe Biden’s recent action to address record-high gasoline prices will have a bare minimum impact on consumers, saving some American families a few dollars a month.
Biden issued an emergency waiver Tuesday allowing gas stations nationwide to sell gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15), pausing a federal environmental regulation that prohibits the corn-based biofuel mixture during the summer months to limit smog. American consumers are currently facing record-high pump prices and soaring inflation at levels not seen since 1981.
Several Democratic states withdrew from an ambitious plan to curb transportation emissions less than a year after signing onto the agreement.
Massachusetts and Connecticut abandoned the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) last week, citing high gas prices and irreconcilable differences, E&E News reported. Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., also joined the agreement which promised to cut transportation emissions 25% and raise $3 billion for clean energy projects.
The Biden administration asked China, Japan, South Korea and India to tap into their emergency oil reserves as the president continues to grapple with rising gasoline prices, Reuters reported.
The effort to simultaneously release oil reserves represents a rebuke of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the cartel that controls oil production throughout the Middle East, several anonymous sources familiar with the request told Reuters on Wednesday. OPEC has repeatedly rejected requests from President Joe Biden and other top administration officials to increase oil production amid rising gasoline prices.
The four Asian nations the president appealed to represent some of the largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters, according to a University of Oxford database.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued that higher gasoline prices, which critics blame the Biden administration for, highlight the need for a rapid transition to clean energy.
“Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options so we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC and their willingness to put more supply and meet the demand in the market,” Psaki told reporters during Friday’s press briefing.