“I’m glad that @POTUS is exploring ways to lower gas prices at the pump. Still, suspending the primary way that we pay for infrastructure projects on our roads is a shortsighted and inefficient way to provide relief,” tweeted Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., “We should explore other options for lowering energy costs.”
And Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in a statement called the idea of a gas tax suspension “short-sighted” in part because “it relies on the cooperation of oil companies to pass on minuscule savings to consumers — the same oil companies that made record profits last year and a staggering $35 billion in the first quarter of 2022.”
The same senior administration official said that Biden hopes oil companies and retailers, as well as states and the federal government, will contribute to the effort to lower prices for consumers, given the effects that Russia’s war in Ukraine is having on energy markets.
“He’s calling on states to suspend their gas taxes, or else find other ways to deliver the same relief, such as consumer rebates or relief payments, building on action states like Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota and New York have taken or are currently considering,” the official said.
No climate retreat
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the president’s formal announcement, said that the new proposal should not be viewed as a drawback from the Biden administration’s broader climate goals.