Biden pushes for investigation of ‘mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior’ by the oil industry

Biden pushes for investigation of ‘mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior’ by the oil industry
(Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House.

President Joe Biden is urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Big Oil for "anti-consumer behavior" and possible "illegal conduct," after large and "unexplained" increases in gas prices at the pump threaten the economic recovery and average Americans' wallets.

"I am writing to call your attention to mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies. The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies' costs are declining," Biden says in a letter (below) to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, an anti-trust expert.

The FTC "has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so
immediately," the President adds.

Biden says "prices at the pump have continued to rise, even as refined fuel costs go down and industry profits go up. Usually, prices at the pump correspond to movements in the price of unfinished gasoline, which is the main ingredient in the gas people buy at the gas station. But in the last month, the price of unfinished gasoline is down more than 5 percent while gas prices at the pump are up 3 percent in that same period."

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"This unexplained large gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the average price at the pump is well above the pre-pandemic average. Meanwhile, the largest oil and gas companies in America are generating significant profits off higher energy prices. The two largest oil and gas companies in the United States, as measured by market capitalization, are on track to nearly double their net income over 2019- the last full year before the pandemic."

Read his full letter, posted by White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, here:

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