Last week, President Biden called on oil companies to lower the cost of gas prices as oil prices decline.
Echoing the president, the Greensboro News & Record’s Editorial Board penned an op-ed yesterday calling on oil companies to take responsibility for high gas prices as oil prices decrease.
News & Record: Our Opinion: More pain at the pump
By The Editorial Board
- It’s called a “zombie lie.”That’s the pop-culture term for a false claim that just won’t die no matter how often it’s refuted by facts.
- Prominent among them right now is the notion that the president of the United States, no matter who he or she is, is responsible for the price of gasoline at the pump, no matter what that price is.
- Its target at the moment is, of course, Joe Biden.
- The claim has been rebutted by a number of reputable fact-checkers who remind us of past fluctuations — and the all-surpassing influence of those Econ 101 staples: supply and demand. Right now, as COVID precautions loosen and we travel more freely, there’s more demand than supply, so the price goes up. It’s part of living in a free-market economy.
- The oil conglomerates that operate in the U.S. — ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell — all reported record-breaking profits before Russia invaded Ukraine — some $205 billion in 2021 alone, according to a recent report from Accountable.US. On top of that, they each receive massive, multi-million-dollar subsidies from the federal government. Talk about freeloaders.
- On Monday morning, any oil corporate head could decree that the price of their product will immediately be reduced by a dollar a gallon. It would be a patriotic display of concern in a time of hardship. They would still make obscene profits.
- A record 6.4 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in 2021, rebounding strongly from the previous year’s unprecedented losses, Bloomberg reported in January. Furthermore, the unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in December and continues to drop by hundreds of thousands of workers every week.
- Republicans aren’t likely to acknowledge the progress. They can hardly criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin without mentioning their dissatisfaction with Biden at the same time.
- Solutions to high gas prices exist. The political will to pursue them doesn’t. Nevertheless, the next time you fill up the tank, don’t bother saying, “Thanks, Joe.” Instead, say, “Here you go, oil exec — my contribution to your new yacht.”