Democrats Look to Deflect Gas-Price Anger Toward Big Oil A gas pump fills a car with fuel at a gas station in San Rafael, California, on May 10, 2017. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 06 April 2022 08:38 AM
Democrats desperate to blame rising gas prices on someone other than President Joe Biden as the midterm elections approach plan to put the focus on oil companies Wednesday, ABC News reported.
Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hear from top executives at six major energy companies, according to ABC News.
The panel even have named the hearing's topic, "Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America's Pain at the Pump."
Democrats plan to try to expose oil companies' failures in their commitment to renewables, and to claim that oil executives have profited from the Russia-Ukraine war.
Biden and his team have attempted to label rising gas prices "Putin's Price Hike,” blaming the Russian president's unprovoked attack on Ukraine for reducing oil supplies. Prices, though, had begun to rise due to inflation before the Feb. 24 invasion.
The president last week ordered the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve for six months in a bid to control energy prices, but even that has limited impact.
The average U.S. gas price through Tuesday was $4.164 for regular and $4.847 for premium. California continued to have the highest average at $5.823.
The national average for regular one year earlier was $2.872.
ABC News also reported that the Biden administration was expected to extend the pause on student loans to Aug. 3. Payments were supposed to resume in May.
The hope is that the pause will help some consumers in dealing with escalating inflation.
"I don't have anything to preview at this point in time," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. "Obviously, we look at and assess what the needs are for the people who were impacted by the payment of student loans."
Some people continue to call for the Biden administration to cancel student loan debt completely.
"With each and every repayment extension, you make a stronger case for canceling it," Wisdom Cole, the National Youth and College Director of the NAACP, said in a statement, ABC News reported. "At this point, just cancel it. $50,000 is the bare minimum. $10,000 is not enough."