Politics

Biden Warns Gas Prices Will Rise Even More If Russia Invades Ukraine

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President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday that Americans could see even higher prices at the gas pump if Russia invades the Ukraine.

‘I will not pretend this will be painless. There could be impact on our energy prices,’ he said in remarks at the White House.

‘If Russia decides to invade that will also have consequences here at home with the American people understand that defending democracy and liberty is never without cost,’ he noted.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president’s remarks should serve as a warning that an invasion could lead to higher gas prices, which are already at record levels throughout the country.

‘I think what the President was touching on was the fact that if Russia decides to invade, there could be consequences here at home. And that could have an impact on energy prices, which could have an impact on prices at the gas pump,’ she said at her daily press briefing.

Biden warned that a Russian invasion ‘remains distinctly possible’ and said the United States could not confirm Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that he has started to pull back troops from the Ukraine border.

Russia is a major exporter of gas and there are concerns U. S. economic sanctions – which Biden has vowed to deliver if Putin invades – would increase the price at the pump.

Gasoline prices surged across the United States this week to their highest level in eight years amid concerns of a possible Ukraine invasion. The average price of a gallon of gas hit $3.49 on Wednesday, according to AAA, which is up four cents from the previous week and up about a dollar from a year ago.

It is the highest price since October 2014, according to the Energy Department.

Psaki said the administration was working to allieve any financial pains Americans might face. Biden and Democratic lawmakers are weighing a federal gas tax holiday as prices reach record levels and the party faces an uphill battle in November’s midterm election.

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‘I have nothing to predict for you at this point, but all options remain on the table,’ Psaki said when asked about a gas tax holiday.

Two of the Democrats most vulnerable senators up in 2022 – Mark Kelly of Arizona and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire – have proposed a bill that would suspend the federal gas tax until Jan. 1, 2023.

The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon for standard gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel.

The federal gas tax, established in 1932, funds the Highway Trust Fund, which in turn finances federal transportation spending.

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However, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the tax holiday would ‘would reduce gas tax revenues by roughly $20 billion and could worsen inflation once the holiday expires.’

The Highway Trust Fund faces an annual shortfall in funding, partly because the gas tax hasn’t changed since 1993 and more people are dr… (Read more)

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