May 24, 2024


 A person pulls the gas pump out of their vehicle

A person pulls the gas pump out of their vehicle
Photo: Brandon Bell (Getty Images)

Cheap gas is becoming politically expensive for President Joe Biden during a challenging election year. Pressure is building on Biden to ramp up sanctions enforcement against Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, Bloomberg reports — three major oil producers whose supplies have tamped down rising crude prices despite OPEC production cuts and a U.S. production glut.

The geopolitical issues that have ensnared them are:

The International Energy Agency says that the three countries contribute about 13% of global supplies. If the U.S. — which has depleted almost half of its Strategic Petroleum Reserves since 2020 to help signal its willingness to keep prices down — were to move to restrict flows out Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, it would follow that prices would instead go up.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the average pump price in March was $3.58 per gallon, down significantly from the record $5.06 in June 2022, but still higher than before Biden took office.

A March poll from YouGov and the Economist suggests that inflation is far and away the most important issue to voters, with 24% of them considering it their top priority. A January poll from the Pew Research Center found that gas and energy prices had faded as an inflationary concern, but an April survey from Gallup suggests that rising gas prices this year have soured many voters’ economic outlooks.

“Today’s -29 ECI score is closer to what it was in mid-1992 (-37), when incumbent president George H.W. Bush lost the election in a campaign dominated largely by economic concerns,” the group noted.



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