Biden to propose gas tax suspension – a Band-Aid on an open wound

President Biden is preparing to propose a three-month gas tax suspension to Congress, but at this point, it’s only a Band-Aid on a big open wound.

The average gas price in the US is right now hovering at around $5 a gallon.

It is putting a lot of pressure on lower-income people and families.

The gas prices rising are coming amid broader inflation and the war in Ukraine affecting global energy markets. The Biden administration has been struggling to find a solution, and now they are reportedly going to propose a controversial solution: suspending the federal gas tax.

CNN reports:

President Joe Biden will call on Congress in a speech Wednesday to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes until the end of September, senior administration officials said, framing the move as necessary to provide relief to American consumers but itself not enough to resolve the problem of surging energy prices.

It is going to be an uphill battle in Congress since the Republicans have historically opposed suspending the gas tax, and many Democrats have been skeptical about the efficacy of the measure.

The current federal tax is roughly 18 cents per gallon on gas and 24 cents per gallon on diesel. 

Suspending it would only reduce the cost of an average full tank by a few dollars.

President Biden is reportedly going to also call for states to suspend their gas taxes, which would contribute to reducing the cost of an average tank by a few more dollars.

Electrek’s Take

I understand that they are doing everything they can as people are hurting, but it is not much. It is very much like a Band-Aid on an open wound.

It is not addressing the root cause of the issue, and it won’t have a big impact even if successful, which is a big if.

Something that is important to keep in mind during this is that the fossil fuel industry is making more money than ever right now and capitalizing on the situation.

Obviously, electrification is also not a short-term solution to alleviate the pressure that gas prices are putting on families, but a faster EV adoption would help mid- to long-term by significantly reducing the demand for gasoline.

It feels like the fossil fuel industry is starting to see that its best days are behind it and is trying to squeeze as much money from a civilization still addicted to its products but trying to ween itself off of them.

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