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- During a May press conference, President Joe Biden talked about the United States’ high gasoline prices but didn’t say he planned them.
"Biden ADMITS $5 gas is being done ON PURPOSE!" the text accompanying a video in a July 7 Instagram post says. "This has been his plan all along."
"And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over," Biden says in the clip.
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The clip is authentic. We found the remarks in which Biden discussed gasoline prices on May 23. He was in Tokyo at the time, participating in a joint press conference with Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida.
A reporter asked Biden whether a recession in the United States was inevitable after noting that "Americans are dealing with record-high inflation" and "there are just enormously high gas prices."
Biden replied that he didn’t think a recession was inevitable. After the reporter pushed him to explain why, Biden talked about new jobs around the country and a growing gross domestic product in the face of problems he said the rest of the world was also experiencing.
"Here’s the situation," he said. "And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over."
But his subsequent comments make it clear he wasn’t suggesting that it was his plan to have high gas prices, as the post claims.
"And what I’ve been able to do to keep it from getting even worse — and it’s bad — the price of gas at the pump is something that I told you, you heard me say before, it would be a matter of great discussion at my kitchen table when I was a kid growing up. It’s affecting a lot of families. But we have released over 200 and, I think, 57,000 — million barrels of oil, I should say. Us and the rest of the world we convinced to get involved. It’s helped, but it’s not been enough."
He went on to say that "This is going to be a haul" and will "take some time."
"But in the meantime, it seems to me the best thing I can do — in addition to try to get the Middle Eastern countries, including OPEC, to raise their production of oil and move along that route — is to see to it that we continue to grow our economy, create jobs," Biden said.
More recently, Biden has said Americans will endure high gas prices for "as long as it takes" to keep Russia at bay — "so Russia cannot in fact defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine," Biden said June 30.
He’s also proposed a three-month federal gas tax holiday and asked states to suspend their gas taxes to try to lower gas prices by $1 a gallon.
As we’ve previously reported, the country’s record-high prices at the pump followed a reduction of gasoline supplies as producers responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, when people weren’t traveling as much because of restrictions. As restrictions eased and the economy started to recover, production and supplies were slow to catch up to demand, and gas prices rose. The pandemic also affected supplies of necessary hardware for oil production, and there was a worker shortage.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also affected gas prices in the United States. The U.S. and Europe reduced their use of Russian energy, which shrank available supplies here further.
Hugh Daigle, a petroleum and geosystems engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told PolitiFact that "gasoline prices are still being driven by the COVID hangover as well as the geopolitical situation in Ukraine. Basically, all the movement in both oil and gasoline prices can nearly completely be explained by these two factors."
We rate claims that Biden admitted to planning to make gas prices high in the United States as False.
Instagram post, July 7, 2022
PolitiFact, No easy answers on reducing US gas prices, despite political ads’ claims, June 15, 2022
Bloomberg, US will face high gas prices ‘as long as it takes,’ Biden says, June 30, 2022
Axios, Biden outlines plan to lower gas prices by $1 a gallon, June 22, 2022
The White House, Remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan in joint press conference, May 23, 2022
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