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'Everything Is Going up Except Our Paychecks': Biden Tells Oil Companies to Make More Oil, Here's the Problem

Gas prices over the $6 dollar mark are displayed at a gas station in Sacramento, Calif., May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Gas prices over the $6 dollar mark are displayed at a gas station in Sacramento, Calif., May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

 With Americans struggling to pay their bills due to skyrocketing inflation, the Federal Reserve is attempting to bring prices down. The Fed issued a historic hike on Wednesday, approving the largest interest rate increase in nearly 30 years.

The move is intended to slow down the economy, but it also means Americans will pay more to borrow money. The increase affects credit cards, car loans, and mortgage rates. So as the Fed pursues ongoing rate hikes to bring down record-high inflation, it'll deliver a new type of blow to consumers who need to borrow money.

  • Credit cards average APR is up over 20 percent for the first time;
  • Mortgage loans, which were around 3% at the beginning of the year, are now above 6%, pushing monthly payments hundreds of dollars higher for some homeowners.

Biden Admin Blames Oil Companies

The number one issue for most Americans remains the ever-increasing prices at the pump.

"Everything is going up except our paychecks and this is not right," one consumer said.

President Biden is blaming the war in Russia and accusing U.S. oil companies of causing high gas prices. He sent a letter to seven oil executives, threatening to invoke emergency powers if they don't increase production. 

“Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis,” Biden said.

That message contradicts his agenda though since Biden has vowed on camera on multiple occasions to "end fossil fuels."

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is also trying to blame oil and gas companies for painfully high gas prices, saying they should "be patriots" and pump more oil. She accused them of using Russia's war "as an excuse or as a reason to not put, to not put out a production."

What Has Happened to Oil Production?

The American Petroleum Institute (API) says high gas prices are largely due to the Biden administration's efforts to oppose fossil fuel production. 

'War on Fossil Fuel': Biden Says Painful Gas Prices Are Part of 'Incredible Transition' to Green Energy, 'God Willing'

“The administration’s misguided policy agenda shifting away from domestic oil and natural gas has compounded inflationary pressures and added headwinds to companies’ daily efforts to meet growing energy needs while reducing emissions," API CEO Mike Sommers said. 

Claudio Galimberti, senior vice president at Rystad Energy, said China has contributed to fuel shortages by limiting exports of oil, and it's all happened while many refineries have also been forced to close for maintenance. “U.S. refiners cannot increase capacity beyond current levels,” Galimberti said. “If they could, they would have done it already.”

Republicans also say Biden has done everything he can to limit oil production in pursuit of his agenda to convert America to green energy.  
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) said, "The president's executive orders have shut down the XL Pipeline, they have stopped issuance of more leases, they have stopped the progress of permitting of those leases, stopped offshore oil -- the fact is we were energy dependent."

And Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) took the local news media to school when an anchor tried to blame oil companies like President Biden has done, saying they won't ramp up production because of global concerns.

Lankford replied, "I've talked to a lot of producers that *are* ramping up production here in Oklahoma and other places. There are some challenges here in Oklahoma, there's not quite as much of a ramp up here because there was a tax increase here in Oklahoma on gross production, and so there's more ramp up in other areas of the country," he explained. 

Lankford said oil producers in Texas, New Mexico, and the Bakken in North Dakota are already ramping up. He said there's also been a labor shortage in the industry due to a lack of workers, like many sectors of the economy have experienced. 

Lankford said "regulatory changes" by the Biden administration are a key factor in the problem, and overall, "Inflation will not go down until energy prices go down."

Meanwhile, the Fed is expected to raise interest rates again in July, causing concern of tipping the economy into recession. While economists say a recession is not for certain, many believe it's becoming more likely.   

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