Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was unable to answer a question Wednesday about how long gas would be at three dollars a gallon but stressed he understood American’s feelings on the matter.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan and the transportation secretary spoke about the crisis at the daily press briefing at the White House.
When asked directly by a reporter about his message to Americans who were facing the high cost of gasoline, Buttigieg replied, “My message is that we understand these concerns that we’ve seen in a lot of the impacted geographies, that this is a real issue.”
The average cost of gas in the United States hit three dollars a gallon on Wednesday, the first time since November 2014.
Buttigieg promised the federal government was working on solutions to address the higher cost of gas and the fuel shortages hitting the country after the Colonial Pipeline was shut down Friday in response to a ransomware cyber attack.
“I can’t speak to long-term energy markets. Obviously, this is a very specific and acute issue, but we recognize the concern that’s out there,” he said.
Buttigieg outlined some minor shuffling of government regulations to help increase the supply of gas, but could not say how long the shortages would last or when the price would drop again.
He also urged Americans not to hoard gasoline and to wait for future announcements from the federal government.
“I will say that this is a time to be sensible and to be safe,” Buttigieg said. “Of course, we understand the concern in the areas where people are encountering temporary supply disruptions. But hoarding does not make things better.”