Oil industry group: White House ‘intern’ who posted high gas prices tweet should take economics class
An oil industry group blasted a tweet from President Biden's account over the weekend urging "companies that operate gas stations" to cut their prices and said the intern who wrote the post should contact "Econ 101".
The U.S. response The Oil and Gas Association, which has received 19,000 retweets and more than 90,000 likes, comes as the White House says it is focused on cutting prices at the pump. The President has supported a suspension of the state gas tax and is considering opening additional domestic wells, although prices are not expected to be reduced in the short term.
In his Saturday tweet, Biden directly targeted the companies that sell gas.
"My message to the companies that operate gas stations and set prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global danger," the tweet read. “Reduce the price you charge at the pump to reflect the cost you pay for the product. And do it now.”
Biden's call met with significant opposition, with critics arguing the tweet showed a fundamental ignorance of market realities.
"We're working on it, Mr. President," the U.S. Oil and Gas Association. "In the meantime - have a good 4th and please make sure the WH intern who posted this tweet signs up for Econ 101 for the fall semester."
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos blasted Biden over the tweet, writing, "Inflation is far too important an issue for the White House to continue making statements like this. It's either a direct misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of the fundamental market dynamics.”
Government officials took to Twitter and television to defend Biden's remarks.
Responding to Bezos' criticism, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted that it's not surprising that the billionaire thinks "oil and gas companies that use market power to make record-breaking profits at the expense of the American people is the way our economy should work. ”
The average gas price briefly topped $5 a gallon in June but has fallen to an average of $4.80, according to the AAA.
In addition to pressuring gas stations to cut prices, Biden has also slammed oil companies for reaping big profits while prices remain near record highs.
Republicans have urged the Biden administration to increase domestic drilling to reduce dependence on gas imports and theoretically bring stability to the US market.
The government on Friday debated whether it would open additional oil wells, but said it was working on a plan that could include as many as 11 new offshore well leases or none at all.
Democrats have taken a cool stance on another presidential proposal to suspend the federal gas tax, one of the few tools Biden has to directly affect consumer prices at the pump.
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