Experts derided a Wednesday tweet by President Joe Biden that purports to show crude oil prices decreasing as gasoline prices increase.
“Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should be too,” the tweet says over a chart that measures oil and gas prices by week since February 1. “Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans.”
Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should too.
Last time oil was $96 a barrel, gas was $3.62 a gallon. Now it’s $4.31.
Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans. pic.twitter.com/uLNGleWBly
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 16, 2022
Experts, including Bloomberg columnist Javier Blas, energy consultant Bob McNally, and Federal Reserve economist Garrett Golding, blasted Biden’s claim.
“There’s always a multi-week lag between global crude oil and domestic pump price changes, Mr. President,” McNally tweeted. He recommended that Biden ask the Energy Information Administration “to explain these realities to you and your staff.”
Blas, meanwhile, used the same data behind Biden’s chart to make a chart that shows the oil price far exceeding the gas price.
I see the White House chart is sourced to Bloomberg LP data. As a public service, I’m going to suggest a different chart. Mine has some of the same elements (WTI oil and retail US gasoline price), but instead I normalized it, and use Dec 1, 2021 = 100. #OOTT #CrackMargins https://t.co/JWVbsvI1o3 pic.twitter.com/F5v9MQH5uw
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) March 16, 2022
“My chart is nearly as bad as the White House’s one—emphasis on nearly!” Blas wrote in a followup tweet. “The point is both are #ChartCrimes. You can fit almost any narrative into a chart.”
And Golding called Biden’s claims “misinformation,” noting that gas prices are “catching up to make up for what happened over the past two weeks.”
The difference in prices is “not price gouging or a grand plot by the industry,” Golding wrote. “This is how the business functions.”
Biden’s tweet appeared to be plagiarized from a viral tweet 24 hours earlier by Warren Gunnels, the Budget Committee staff director of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), that used the same numbers to argue that “damn corporate greed” is responsible for high gas prices.
Biden has blamed oil and gas companies, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for price increases in an effort to distract from his administration’s policies.
Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and instituted a moratorium on new gas leases. And the president’s congressional allies pushed oil companies to decrease output, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Gas and oil prices started spiking before the Russian invasion.
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