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Gas prices continue to soar as post-pandemic inflation and effects of Russia’s attack on Ukraine combine at the pump.
Nationwide, gas prices have hit an average of $4.065/gallon, according to AAA. That number is just five cents shy of the all-time record of $4.11 set in 2008.
In parts of California, prices at the pump have already soared past records. The average price of gas in the Golden State is $5.34/gallon as of Monday morning, a $0.27 increase since Friday.
But in cities like Los Angeles, the gas prices for a gallon of gas is approaching a staggering $7.00/gallon in some areas. These sky-high prices do more than affect Americans’ ability to fuel up their cars. They are also likely to lead to higher costs of food and key other goods.
Pain at the pump renews calls for a focus on energy independence
The almost untenable prices of fuel has re-ignited Democrats’ push for national energy independence through the use of clean and renewable energy sources.
This attitude concerning gas prices is reflected on Wall Street as well. Stock prices are soaring for clean energy companies as the cost of a barrel of oil continues to increase.
In an interview with Fox News, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy advocated for more robust use of solar energy.
“I would just want to make sure that in the United States, if we’re gonna have to fill in what we lose in Russian gas, that’s not just from West Virginia coal. That’s also from Long Island Sound wind power,” The Senator said, referring to a potential ban on Russian oil imports.
In addition to advocating for energy independence, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and others are also pushing for greater consumer protections.
As gas prices surge nationally, she continues to press for a breakup of corporate monopolies to increase competition and drive down costs.
“Big corporations are hiking prices up for consumers and expanding their profit margins — because they can,” Warren tweeted. “That’s why I’m fighting to create some real competition in the markets, break up monopolies, and bring down costs for families.”
Despite increase in gas prices, Senators band together in bi-partisan effort to block Russian oil imports
In a bi-partisan statement, twenty US lawmakers across the political spectrum called on Congress to block importation of oil from Russia to the United States.
The move will likely increase gas prices more. However, Congressional leaders says failing to do so “puts American national security at risk”.
The push, a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, urges the White House to swiftly block all Russian energy imports.
“It directs the President to prohibit imports of crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, LNG, and coal from Russia,” Congressional leaders said.
President Biden has signaled support for the effort, even as European leaders are slow to act.
During his State of the Union address, Biden announced his administration would work to release more oil from the nation’s strategic reserves to help lower gas prices for the American people. The President also promised to work to pass key components of his domestic agenda to increase green energy production.