(NewsNation) — While gas prices have fallen slightly in recent weeks, the average cost for diesel remains above $5 a gallon and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is leveling the blame on oil behemoths.
“I can’t help but notice when the price of crude oil goes up, gas and diesel goes right up alongside it, right away. And yet, when the price of oil settles back down, the same has not always been true for gas and diesel. That means that you’ve got a lot of oil companies who are pocketing the profits instead of passing on those lower prices to consumers,” Buttigieg told NewsNation’s Nichole Berlie on Rush Hour Friday.
As far as what the federal government is doing about it, Buttigieg pointed to actions taken by President Joe Biden’s administration like releasing oil from the country’s petroleum reserve and blamed oil companies for profiting at the expense of the American people.
Oil companies have been the focus of much of the White House’s ire since gas prices surged to record highs in early March. But petroleum industry experts have argued that pandemic-related setbacks like labor and supply shortages are more significant factors.
An ABC news poll earlier this month found the vast majority of Americans blame Russian President Vladimir Putin and big oil companies for high gas prices but more than 50% of respondents also blamed Democratic policies and President Joe Biden.