‘Prices Have Already Stabilized’: Psaki Justifies Memorial Day Gas Price Highs

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Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
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Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to downplay the United States’ rising gas prices while promising that the Biden administration would not raise the gas tax.

Americans “are paying less in real terms for gas than they have on average over the last 15 years—and they’re paying about the same as they did in May 2018 and May 2019,” Psaki said in a Friday statement. “Prices have already stabilized after a spike earlier this month, as the Colonial Pipeline is fully flowing, and the supply situation returns to normal.”

Gas prices are expected to reach their highest levels for Memorial Day weekend since 2014, CNBC reported.

Gas prices currently sit at $3.04 per gallon of regular gas, according to AAA. That price is up 16 cents over the last month, and $1.07 over the past year. Some of the increase is due to increased consumption as the country opens up with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some economists, however, stress the role of inflation in driving up prices. (RELATED: Here’s How To Avoid Losing Buckets Of Dough From Inflation)

Patrick De Haan, the head of analysis at industry monitor GasBuddy, thinks prices could continue to climb. “Everyone wants to get out. If there’s any hiccup in the system this summer, it’s going to be hard to fuel up,” he told CNBC.

“Usually when prices go up 50 cents, people say they’ll just stay home, but not this year, with the pent-up demand. If there’s any kinks in the system, it could get ugly.”

Psaki promised that the Biden administration would not raise gas taxes, throwing cold water on a bipartisan proposal that would help fund the American Jobs Plan. “The President knows that gas prices are a pain point for Americans—especially the middle-class families he’s put at the center of his economic agenda. That’s why President Biden is opposed any proposals to raise the gas tax,” she added.