Diesel prices hit a national average of $5.54 a gallon on Monday, setting a new all-time high, according to travel agency AAA’s gas tracker. In March, the cost of regular unleaded fuel remained less than half a cent from its all-time high of $4.33 a gallon, at $4.328 on Monday.
These high fuel costs are just a devastating first drop, the negative effects of which will reverberate throughout the economy, with rising transport prices adding pressure to the inflationary pressures that are already driving up the cost of goods and services. In March, year-over-year inflation was 8.5%, the highest rate since 1981. Bloomberg Economics projects that US households will spend an additional $5,200 this year, or $433 a month, for the same basket of goods as last year.
While diesel prices might not immediately alarm many consumers who rely on regular unleaded gasoline for routine transportation, tankers, trains, trucks, farm machinery and other industrial equipment depend on diesel. .
“Diesel is the fuel that powers the economy,” Patrick De Haan, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy, told CNBC. These increased costs “are definitely going to translate into more expensive goods.”
Despite the price hikes, the Biden administration has continued to antagonize the oil and gas industry with a cascade of new taxes and regulations that hamper production.
In April, President Joe Biden’s Interior Department announced plans to resume oil and gas leases on federal lands pursuant to a court order after a 15-month suspension. The agency’s forced sales offered only 20% of the land originally designated and approved for lease, supplemented by a 50% increase in royalties on extracted minerals.
Although it is moving forward, the administration has made clear its desire to end federal lease sales. These sales were only scheduled after a federal judge in Louisiana ruled the administration’s pause on them last summer was illegitimate.
“We don’t think they’re necessary,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki explained, even as Psaki and the president repeatedly blame Russia’s war in Ukraine as the reason for the rise. prices with the motto “Putin’s price hike”.
White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy was even more explicit.
“President Biden remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with any additional drilling on public lands,” McCarthy said on MSNBC.
Left-wing animosity toward oil and gas exploration has chilled investment in the labor and capital-intensive industry, chilling production in the process even as prices soar. To suppress gas prices ahead of the November midterms, President Biden ordered the self-proclaimed “unprecedented” release of stockpiled crude from the country’s emergency stockpile, with 1 million barrels coming to market daily for the next six months starting next week.
The president offered no plan to replenish emergency supplies.
Tristan Justice is the Western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan is a graduate of George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.