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Ignoring Inflation, Biden Urges FTC to Investigate ‘Illegal’ Gas Price Hikes

Biden omite la inflación y pide investigar a las petroleras por el aumento de precios de la gasolina

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President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on a regulatory agency to investigate whether gasoline prices are rising in his country due to “illegal conduct” by major oil and gas companies. In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Biden alleged that there is “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”

He said that gas prices at the pump remain high, even though costs are coming down for oil and gas companies. He added that the FTC has the power to consider whether illegal conduct is taking a toll on families at gas stations.

The president asked the FTC to investigate the issue “immediately,” but the agency is independent and not bound by the president’s requests, whose letter comes as U.S. inflation has soared to levels not seen in more than three decades.

Biden appreciated in his letter that the commission has decided to “strengthen oversight of mergers” of energy companies that result in “less choice for consumers,” but said a deeper examination of “what is happening to the oil and gas markets” is needed.

He argued that there is a “big gap between the price of unrefined gasoline,” which has dropped more than 5% in the last month, and “gasoline prices at the pump,” which have risen 3% in the same period, and that this difference is greater than it was before the pandemic.

The president in recent days also implied that the increase in meat prices was due to alleged illegal speculation that should be investigated; in this way, Biden tries to shift the blame for inflation to producers and traders, and omits the high level of public spending and the constant issuance of money by his administration.

Prices consumers pay for gasoline rose 6.1% last month and are up 49.6% in a year, according to a report released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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