President Joe Biden warned American oil companies on Wednesday not to raise prices on gasoline, in anticipation of Hurricane Ian hitting Florida.
“Do not. Let me repeat. Do not. Do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices or gouge the American people,” Biden said sternly during an event in Washington, DC.
Biden said the price of oil “remained relatively low” and there was no reason for prices to go up, even though oil companies have evacuated offshore oil and natural gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of the storm.
The storm is expected to shut down eleven percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, according to reports, prompting the price of oil to rise on Wednesday.
But Biden demanded that gas stations not raise their prices.
“This small temporary storm impact on oil production provides no excuse. No excuse for price increases at the pump. None,” he said.
Biden did not mention any additional releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, despite draining it to its lowest level in 37 years ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Instead, he threatened oil companies with investigations if they raised their prices.
“If gas companies try to use this storm to raise prices at the pump I will ask officials to look into whether price gouging is going on,” he griped.
Gas prices have already risen five cents per gallon in the past week, according to the AAA.
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