President Joe Biden on Wednesday issued a stern warning to oil and gas executives against using disruptions caused by Hurricane Ian as a basis for raising gasoline and diesel fuel prices that have been steadily declining in recent months.
Speaking at a White House conference on hunger and nutrition, Mr Biden offered the warning at the outset of his remarks while discussing his contact with Florida officials in preparation for the arrival of the category four storm.
“I want to add one more warning to oil and gas industry executives: Do not — let me repeat — do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices on the American people,” Mr Biden said.
Continuing, the president added that the price of crude oil has remained “relatively low” and is continuing to drop, and said the price of gasoline should continue to drop in turn.
Mr Biden said experts have told him the hurricane should only impact roughly two per cent of US production capacity — around 190,000 barrels per day — and stressed that the disruption would be “for a very short period of time”.
“This small, temporary storm’s impact ... is no excuse for price increases at the pump,” he said.
Mr Biden added that he would ask administration officials to investigate any instances of alleged price gauging if oil and gas prices try to raise prices on account of the storm’s impact.