White House weighing steps to address gas shortages | TheHill – thehill.com

The White House is discussing options to address fuel and natural gas shortages that have driven prices higher, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Presented by The National Council for Mental Wellbeing — Progressives: Medicare benefit expansions ‘not negotiable’ Texas governor opens new front on vaccine mandates Biden to meet in person with president of Kenya at the White House MORE told reporters Wednesday.

“The president has asked his economic team, as they do on any range of issues impacting the public, to continue to discuss what the options are that we can take to address these shortages,” Psaki said at an afternoon briefing.

Psaki noted that there is a natural gas shortage worldwide and said there are a “range” of options for the Biden administration to explore to help address the issue, but she declined to specify what options are currently being discussed. 

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“I’m not in a position yet to outline additional steps we can take,” she said. 

Bloomberg News reported that Biden administration officials including Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOvernight Energy & Environment — Dozens of countries join US-Europe-led methane pledge Oil trades above a barrel, hitting a 7-year high Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official MORE, Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security — Afghanistan concerns center stage with G-20 Iran and China at top of agenda in joint meeting of US, Israel and UAE US Embassy in Colombia investigating several Havana syndrome cases MORE and Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackTom VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE met Tuesday night to discuss rising fuel and natural gas prices. 

The meeting was reportedly part of talks among the group of officials, who also include deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyemo, White House climate advisers Gina McCarthyGina McCarthy Environmental activists’ email blast disrupted White House communications over two days: report Greenpeace ad asks if climate change is racist Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Interior halts Trump-era bird protection rollback MORE and John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Dozens of countries join US-Europe-led methane pledge Interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 escapes Afghanistan More than 30 countries join methane pledge led by US, EU MORE, White House economic adviser Brian DeeseBrian Deese Environmental activists’ email blast disrupted White House communications over two days: report Sinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal White House says it’s ‘closer to agreement than ever’ after House punts infrastructure vote MORE and White House national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanIran and China at top of agenda in joint meeting of US, Israel and UAE Israeli PM calls for UN Security Council to act against Iran over nuclear program North Korea’s Kim rips US, promises ‘invincible’ military MORE

For weeks, European countries have been facing energy price spikes that have raised utility prices for consumers there. 

Meanwhile, in the U.K., there has also been difficulty getting gasoline for their cars amid a shortage of truck drivers.

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In the U.S., gasoline prices, which dropped to severe lows at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, have been rising throughout the year as the economy turned back on. 

The national average of gasoline prices stood at $3.288 per gallon on Wednesday, according to AAA, up from a low of $1.77 in April 2020 towards the beginning of the pandemic. 

The price of gasoline and fell significantly during the pandemic as people traveled less than normal, and at least part of the global rebound in fuel prices has been attributed to more vaccination and fewer pandemic-related restrictions.

Options the Biden administration could take to address the situation domestically could entail releasing crude oil from the U.S. emergency stockpile or restricting exports to other countries, though the latter could rankle allies in Europe.  

Meanwhile, new data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed that consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in the month of September and 5.4 percent over the past year, reflecting sharp increases in food, energy and shelter costs. 

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