(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and others in a letter to President Biden urging the administration to utilize tools to lower U.S. gasoline prices for American consumers.
Gas price experts have pointed to a “perfect storm” of factors that have contributed to the recent gas price spike, including: U.S. oil producers slowing production down during the height of the pandemic and laying workers off; COVID-related bottlenecks in the supply chain; OPEC countries like Saudi Arabia are severely limiting petroleum production; extensive hurricane damage to Louisiana refineries; and a downed pipeline from Atlanta to the East Coast.
“In our home states, high gasoline prices have placed an undue burden on families and small businesses trying to make ends meet, and have proven especially burdensome as our constituents continue to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Senators wrote.
“We share the administration’s concerns that the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others to purposefully manipulate gas prices by constraining supply, as well as the choice of domestic leaseholders and producers to continue to export U.S. petroleum, threaten to send already record prices even higher,” they continued. “Continued U.S. exports and overseas supply collusion could be devastating to many in our states, contributing to higher bills for American families and businesses.”
They concluded: “In light of these pressing concerns, we ask that you consider all tools available at your disposal to lower U.S. gasoline prices. This includes a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a ban on crude oil exports. We hope you will consider these tools and others to make gasoline more affordable for all Americans.”
Full text of the letter is available here.
The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).