Biden Considers Trip to Saudi Arabia as Gas Prices Hit All-Time Highs

Gas more than $4 a gallon—as high as $7 in California

San Diego gas prices in February 2022 / Reuters
March 7, 2022

President Joe Biden is considering a trip to Saudi Arabia this spring that could boost oil exports as the United States hits all-time highs for gas prices.

Axios on Sunday reported Biden's advisers had discussed the trip as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its disruptions to the international energy economy. The White House called the report "premature speculation."

Any ban on Russian oil and gas would worsen global gas prices—the European Union gets 25 percent of its oil supply and 40 percent of its gas supply from Russia—as well as U.S. inflation. On Monday, the United States broke the record for the national average price of gasoline, hitting $4.104 per gallon. Some gas stations in Los Angeles have recorded prices as high as $7 per gallon.

"Americans have never seen gasoline prices this high, nor have we seen the pace of increases so fast and furious," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "The high prices are likely to stick around for not days or weeks, like they did in 2008, but months. GasBuddy now expects the yearly national average to rise to its highest ever recorded."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Sunday announced legislation to "ban the import of Russian oil and energy products into the United States," end trade and increase tariffs on Russia, and remove the nation from the World Trade Organization. Russia only accounts for 8 percent of total U.S. oil imports, but banning the import of Russian oil would still cause domestic gas prices to surge even higher.