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• According to the most recent weekly data, the cost of a gallon of gasoline is $3.53. That’s exactly the same as it was just days before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
During an event to tout economic growth and legislative initiatives on his watch, President Joe Biden noted a breakthrough in one of the past year’s most painful economic factors: high prices at the pump.
"Gas prices are down back to where they were before Russia invaded Ukraine," Biden said Nov. 29 at SK Siltron CSS, a manufacturer in Bay City, Michigan. "They’ve dropped $1.50 from their peak this summer."
Have gasoline prices in the U.S. returned to what they were before Russia invaded Ukraine? Put simply: Yes.
On the eve of the war, during the week of Feb. 21, the average regular gas price per gallon was $3.53, according to the Energy Information Administration.
In the most recent week for which data was available at the time of Biden’s speech, the price was also $3.53, when rounded.
In between, the price surged as high as $5.01 during the week of June 13. So, the average price has dropped by $1.48 since the peak, or almost $1.50, as Biden stated.
There’s no guarantee that prices will stay this low, of course.
Presidential policy is only one determinant of gas prices, and a small one at that, experts say.
Gas prices initially rose on Biden’s watch because of the recovery after the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. As economic activity, commuting and travel rebounded, demand for fuel beyond global supplies increased.
Biden first withdrew crude oil from the federal government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in November 2021, three months before Russia’s invasion. He ordered additional withdrawals since the start of the war. These withdrawals have increased the amount of supply, but only marginally, because crude oil operates on a global market to which all oil producers contribute.
Western nations have sought to reduce their purchases of Russian crude oil as punishment for its war in Ukraine, and that has hampered supply. Other major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia, have resisted requests to increase production to fill the void. In all, this has kept the global price of crude high by historical levels, even though the price has fallen since its peak in the summer.
All told, prices at the pump remain 48% higher than when Biden entered office. Around the time of his January 2021 inauguration, a gallon cost $2.39. Gasoline prices hit a low of $1.79 under then-President Donald Trump when the pandemic shutdowns were crushing the economy in May 2020. Prices rose for the remainder of Trump’s term and into Biden’s.
Biden said, "Gas prices are down back to where they were before Russia invaded Ukraine."
Gas prices didn’t start increasing with the onset of the war, but the most recent weekly price data shows the cost of a gallon of gasoline at $3.53, which is exactly the same as it was just days before Russia invaded Ukraine.
We rate the statement True.
C-SPAN, remarks by Joe Biden in Bay City, Michigan, Nov. 29, 2022
Energy Information Administration, Weekly U.S. Regular All Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices, accessed Nov. 29, 2022
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