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Don’t blame the White House for pain at the pump, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday.
The Biden administration is doing everything it can to fight soaring gas prices and overall inflation, which is at the highest level in decades, Buttigieg said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The price of gasoline is not set by a dial in the Oval Office,” he said.
The nationwide average price of gas is $4.85 per gallon, according to AAA. It was $4.81 in the New York City metro area as of May 30, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority reported.
As part of its effort to tamp down rising inflation, President Biden authorized the U.S. to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the nation’s emergency crude oil reserves, earlier this year.
“I don’t think it’s correct to say it hasn’t made any difference at all,” Buttigieg said of Biden’s decision.
The White House is trying to strengthen the supply chain and “invest in the capacity, both physical and human, of our economy to keep up with demand,” he added.
“The president has made clear inflation is his top economic priority, and he’s laid out a very clear strategy for doing that,” Buttigieg said.
The state of the economy has hurt Biden’s approval ratings and created major challenges for Democrats facing this year’s congressional midterm elections.
Three out of 5 Americans said they disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy, according to results of an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.