Biden Touts Lower Gas Prices. Will They Stay There?

The White House is enjoying a retreat in pump prices. But energy markets offer no guarantees.

On Tuesday, President Biden posted a tweet celebrating a two-week drop in the national average of the price of a gallon of gas.

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Ahead of the midterm elections, prices at the pump continue to dominate headlines and stump speeches. Whether that will translate into a meaningful, sustained drop in the pain many Americans feel each time they fill up remains to be seen (and Kiplinger's forecasts energy prices will stay elevated through the fall).

Much like swings in the stock market, politicians take equal measures of credit and blame for swings in the cost of gasoline. But the reality is that gas prices don't hinge on elections. Energy markets are hugely complex with the cost of a gallon moving on everything from refining capacity to crude prices to geopolitics. 

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Everything from refinery outages to OPEC export reductions has recently pushed fuel prices higher. And consumers continue to fret over those additional costs alongside broader worries about persistent inflation in everything from food to auto insurance.

The one area where politicians do have an increased measure of control - gasoline taxes - has resulted in taxes being cut or subsidies sent out to give motorists some relief this year. However, even with government intervention, the overall impact on the price of gas has been negligible. 

For consumers feeling the pinch, there are ways to save on gas. Dropping overall vehicle weight, removing roof racks and driving at a more reasonable speed all help, at least a bit. Whether voting in November will make a similar difference is still an open question.

For expert updates on energy prices and the economy, subscribe to The Kiplinger LetterClick here for a free issue and more information.

Digital Director and Head of Product,

Kirk leads the editorial team.

He has spent more than two decades writing, editing and creating products designed to help everyday people make smart financial and investment decisions.

He joined Kiplinger in February 2022 to focus on developing industry-leading coverage in core areas including investing, tax, personal finance and retirement planning.