(NewsNation) — Even with a recent 10-cent drop in gas price averages around the country, filling up is still a very expensive proposition, with many areas still above $4/gallon, with $5 and $6 prices in some cities.
Reporting from Chicago, from a station where the price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $4.84, NewsNation’s Marley Kayden reported that one thing most Americans can agree on is who’s to blame for the current record-high prices.
A recent poll finds that Americans place the largest amount of blame for their pain at the pump on Russian President Vladimir Putin, for continuing the war in Ukraine which is affecting global oil supply, and on oil companies, which are increasingly seen as keeping prices artificially high.
Serious difficulties paying for gas were reported by 20 percent of Americans according to the same ABC/Ipsos poll that found Putin and the oil giants guilty. A total of 71% of poll respondents blame Putin for the pain in their pocketbooks, and 68% lay blame at the feet of Exxon, BP and the rest of the oil companies.
The poll came the same week as oil company executive appeared before Congress, with House Democrats accusing them of putting profits before production. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) bluntly said, “We’re here to get answer from the oil companies as to why they’re ripping off the American people. At a time of record profits, big oil is refusing to increase production to provide the American people some much-needed relief.”
The CEOs of oil companies such as Chevron and Exxon/Mobil took turns pushing back at accusations from lawmakers. Michael Wirth, CEO of Chevron, said, “We do not control the market price of crude oil or natural gas, nor of refined products like gasoline and diesel fuel, and we have no tolerance for price gouging.”
President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are not free of blame in the poll, either. Just over half of respondents, 52%, said Democratic Party policies were responsible for high prices at the pump, with 51% blaming Biden directly.
The current national average for gas is $4.11/gallon, down from $4.33/gallon a month ago. However, that’s still up $1.25 from a year ago.