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Biden administration probing why gasoline prices are not falling

09/16/2021 | 03:20pm EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday that there was evidence that gasoline prices should be falling and his administration was investigating why that was not the case.

"There's lots of evidence that gas prices should be going down but they haven't," he said, adding his team was "taking a close look at that."

The Federal Trade Commission https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/ftc-seeks-crack-down-unlawful-mergers-oil-gas-industry-letter-2021-08-30 has said it will crack down on practices that may harm consumers at the gasoline pump and seek to deter "unlawful" mergers in the oil and gas industry after the White House asked it to look into why gasoline prices tend to rise more in response to oil price spikes than they drop in response to oil price drops.

The average price of gasoline was $3.19 on Thursday, compared with $3.18 a month ago and $2.18 a year ago, according to the AAA gas price website https://gasprices.aaa.com.

Current prices reflect more people traveling and commuting to the office, after the COVID pandemic caused a sharp drop in consumption last year.

U.S. gasoline consumption is expected to average 8.8 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, up 10% from 8 million bpd in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In August, Biden's administration pressed OPEC and its allies https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/us-call-opec-its-allies-increase-oil-production-cnbc-2021-08-11 to boost oil output to tackle rising gasoline prices.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by David Gaffen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

ę Reuters 2021
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