After peaking above a record $5 a gallon in June, U.S. gas prices should continue to fall in the coming weeks, a top White House energy adviser said Sunday, predicting prices around $4 a gallon, on average.
In an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Amos Hochstein, special presidential coordinator for international energy affairs, said the Biden administration’s measures amid “extraordinary circumstances” are working.
“It’s not $5 anymore, it’s now $4.55,” Hockstein said of gas prices, according to a transcript. “And I expect it to come down more towards $4. And we already have many gas stations around the country that are below $4. So we’re — this is the fastest decline rate that we’ve seen against a major increase in oil prices during a war in Europe, where one of the parties in the war is the third-largest producer in the world. So these are extraordinary circumstances. We’ve taken very tough measures to address them right away, both for the American consumer but really for [the] global economy, too.”
As of Sunday, the average price of gas in the U.S. was $4.532 a gallon, according to AAA, down about 14 cents from a week ago and down from $5 a month ago. Still, that’s a significant jump from where gas prices were a year ago, at $3.167 a gallon.
Gas prices are one of the more noticeable indicators of inflation, which hit 9.1% year-over-year in June, a 41-year high.
Hockstein credited Biden’s release of a million barrels of oil a day from the U.S. strategic reserve in helping bring prices down.
The emergency releases are scheduled to end toward the end of the year, and Hockstein said the Biden administration is confident that oil companies will have increased production by then.
“My expectation is that the private sector in the U.S. will have those increases coming, so we don’t need to have the emergency from the U.S. government,” he told host Margaret Brennan.
Hockstein also noted that OPEC still has the capacity to produce significantly more oil, and defended a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil.
“What we want to be able to do is to mitigate where the price of oil on the world market doesn’t actually impact Russia at all,” he said. “So if prices go up, [Putin] still won’t get that price.”