Fact Check: Is President Biden to blame for high gas prices?

Nikki Rudd
Created: March 24, 2021 06:55 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Have you noticed gas prices are up? You're not alone! A lot of people are saying the price at the pump spiked right when Joe Biden became President. So is Mr. Biden to blame? 

News10NBC's Nikki Rudd did a fact check. 

On Wednesday morning, the average price of regular gas in Rochester stood at $2.88 a gallon. 

According to AAA, that's up one cent since last week. So we leveled off a little bit.

However, it's $0.19 higher than a month ago and $0.50 higher than this time last year when President Trump was in the White House. 
Some Republicans have been quick to link the price increases to President Biden's policies. 

Take a look at this recent tweet from Florida Senator Rick Scott: 

An increase of about 50 cents a gallon. That's right on par with where gas prices stand here in Rochester. 
            
At the same time, trusted organizations that release gas price data and reports like AAA and GasBuddy have a different story.  Officials there say gas prices are up because of rising demand and shorter supply. 

Patrick De Haan is the Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy. 

"Gas prices going up are a sign of a country mending from COVID-19,"  De Haan said. "It's a sign we're getting back out on the road." 

According to the Lundberg Survey, the price spike is due to higher crude oil prices, refineries that shut down or reduced operations following extreme cold and power outages last month, and surging prices on credits for renewable fuel.

The news going forward is not great. GasBuddy experts say we could see a short break from rising gas prices in the next few weeks, but believe prices at the pump will continue to go up ahead of Memorial Day. 

Keep in mind, these price spikes have happened before even under Donald Trump's administration. In June of 2018 - the national average for regular unleaded was near $3.00/gallon. 

The highest recorded price ever in Rochester was back in 2008. A gallon of regular was $4.24.  

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