Gas Rebate Cards? What the White House May Do About High Gas Prices

Headline Roundup June 17th, 2022

As gas prices remain high and U.S. consumers stay frustrated, the White House is considering new responses.

Reports from the Washington Post and Fox News this week both cited anonymous White House officials who said that the administration is considering distributing gas rebate cards after initially ruling out the idea. It's unclear who would qualify for the potential rebate or how the cards would be limited to gas purchases only. Also this week, President Joe Biden sent a letter to U.S. oil companies calling on them to "take immediate actions" to increase supply and saying he's prepared to use "emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term."

The national average price of regular gasoline rose 10 cents last week to a record high of $5.01 per gallon. If adjusting for inflation historically, gas prices were at their highest in 2008 — today's average would need to hit $5.33 to surpass that point.

Coverage across the political spectrum highlighted Biden's letter to oil companies and the reports about potential rebate cards. Many on the right have consistently criticized Biden's stance on the U.S. oil industry; some now call him a hypocrite for encouraging production while also purportedly making it harder for refineries to produce oil and make money. Coverage from the left often focuses more on how global factors, like Russia's invasion of Ukraine and international oil markets, are affecting gas prices in the U.S. and around the world.

From the Left

Senior White House aides have in recent days explored new ideas for responding to high gas prices and looked again at some that they had previously discarded, desperate to show that the administration is trying to address voter frustration about rising costs at the pump.

Biden officials are taking a second look at whether the federal government could send rebate cards out to millions of American drivers to help them pay at gas stations — an idea they examined months ago before ruling it out. Aides had found that shortages...

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From the Center

U.S. President Joe Biden, under pressure over sky-high gasoline prices, on Wednesday demanded oil refining companies explain why they are not putting more fuel on the market as they reap windfall profits.

Biden wrote to executives from Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC.N), Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), and complained they had cut back on oil refining to pad profits, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.

The letter was also sent to Phillips 66 (PSX.N), Chevron Corp (CVX.N), BP (BP.L) and Shell (SHEL.L), a White House official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.


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From the Right

The White House is reportedly floating the idea of gas rebates for U.S. residents due to record gas prices.

A White House official told FOX Business that the administration has not ruled out the distribution of gas rebate cards. The cards would hypothetically subsidize the price of gas for Americans – many of whom are struggling to make ends meet with fuel now priced at the level of a luxury good.

"The president has made clear that he is willing to explore all options and hear all ideas that would help lower gas...

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