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White House asks FTC to investigate rising gas prices

More people will be traveling for Thanksgiving, but some may stay home to avoid filling up

Gas prices and gas pump concept
Photo (c) aydinmutlu - Getty Images
The Biden administration has decided to get tough on gas prices. The White House thinks that current prices are unacceptable and has asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the situation.

"The Federal Trade Commission has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately," Biden wrote in a letter to FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan. 

"Prices at the pump have continued to rise, even as refined fuel costs go down and industry profits go up," he said. "In the last month, the price of unfinished gasoline is down more than 5 percent while gas prices at the pump are up 3 percent in that same period. This unexplained large gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the average price at the pump is well above the pre-pandemic average."

Biden won’t likely settle for less than a complete deep dive from the FTC to find out if something illegal is happening in the marketplace.

"I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct," Biden said in his letter. "I therefore ask that the Commission further examine what is happening with oil and gas markets, and that you bring all of the Commission's tools to bear if you uncover any wrongdoing."

Americans have to decide to drive or stay at home for Thanksgiving

With the pandemic situation having changed since last year, Thanksgiving 2021 is looking to be completely different from 2020. Many Americans seem to have their heart set on going somewhere to celebrate. 

Unfortunately, rising gas prices have increased the cost of driving substantially. Will consumers be willing to pay more at the pump, or will they ultimately decide to stay home and save the money?

In a new survey from Cars.com, 84% of the respondents who said they’re traveling for Thanksgiving stated that they’ll be driving. However, some are starting to rethink the situation because of the rise in gas prices. Among those surveyed, 50% said gas prices have some impact on their travel plans, and 12% said they won’t drive if gas prices get any higher.

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