Nearly two-thirds of likely voters say Biden not doing enough to fight rising gas prices, poll finds

Gas and diesel pumps, along with gas prices, are shown at an Exxon gas station in Carlsbad, California. | (Photo: Reuters / Mike Blake)

Nearly two-thirds of American voters believe that President Joe Biden is not doing enough to counter rising fuel costs, according to a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports.

In a survey conducted online and over the telephone of 1,000 likely voters on Sunday, 62% of respondents said they do not believe Biden has "done enough to stop the rising price of gasoline, home heating oil and other petroleum products."

Meanwhile, 26% of respondents said that they believe Biden has done enough. Twelve percent said they were unsure.

Additionally, 83% of respondents said that they believed that the rising fuel prices "is a serious problem," while 14% said they don't think rising fuel prices is a serious problem.

The report, released on Tuesday, has a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points.

"Majorities of all political categories – 91% of Republicans, 76% of Democrats and 81% of voters unaffiliated with either major party – agree that rising fuel prices are a serious problem," the Rasmussen report states.  

"However, Republicans (78%) are significantly more likely than Democrats (41%) or unaffiliated voters (59%) to say the problem is Very Serious."

The president's critics have claimed that policies reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline for the rising gas prices. Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry argued this month that Biden has reversed the U.S.' "energy independence achieved under the Trump administration." 

Biden has cast blame for the rising fuel prices on oil companies, saying in a press conference last week that "gas supply companies are paying less and making a lot more." His administration has pressured OPEC to increase output. 

Some attribute the nationwide increase in gas prices in the last year to the rise in travel following the lifting of many pandemic-related restrictions.

Earlier this week, AAA reported that the national average for a gallon of gas was $3.39, which is $1.27 more than it was the same time last year when gatherings and travel were more restricted.

Current gas prices are about a penny less than they were a month ago, AAA noted, possibly due to concerns over the emergence of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

"It's too soon to tell if fears of a global economic slowdown caused by the Omicron variant will push oil prices lower for the long term," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement.

"But for now, the upward pricing pressure due to tightened supply and high demand seems to have abated, and that will likely result in pump prices stabilizing."

Last week, Biden authorized the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help mitigate the rising prices, with the promise of additional action if necessary.

"Today's announcement reflects the President's commitment to do everything in his power to bring down costs for the American people and continue our strong economic recovery," a White House statement reads.

"The President stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic."

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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