Gas prices on Tuesday notched a fourth record high this year under President Joe Biden.
The national average price for unleaded gas stands at $4.62, according to AAA. The price marks the third all-time high in May and the fourth record price hit since March.
The Biden administration, which since taking office has handicapped domestic oil production efforts, still plans to tap the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to combat skyrocketing prices. After taking office, Biden curbed domestic energy production by closing the Keystone XL pipeline and placing a moratorium on new U.S. gas leases.
When visiting a strategic petroleum plant in Louisiana last week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the administration will "release one million barrels per day for the next six months," according to KNOE News. She blamed the rising prices on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, though surging inflation has affected the United States since last year. Before the invasion, Biden blamed supply chain disruptions and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for rising costs.
Former Obama economic adviser Steven Rattner in March called the 40-year inflation high "Biden's inflation," saying the president's large federal stimulus package was responsible. Lawrence Summers, another Obama economic adviser, also said Biden's American Rescue Plan prompted the record inflation.
Former Obama Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said in May that the United States will experience "stagflation" under Biden, predicting "a period in the next year or two where growth is low, unemployment is at least up a little bit, and inflation is still high."
Rep. Garret Graves (R.), who was among a group of Louisiana lawmakers present when Granholm made her remarks, told KNOE the administration's approach was "irrational."
"You either leave the reserves more depleted than when you found them, or you come back later and buy more oil," Graves said. "They're gonna come back and buy more oil, and it's going to be very difficult to predict what energy markets are going to look like in several months when they plan on doing it. But right now, I expect gas and especially diesel prices to continue climbing."
Granholm added that the administration hopes to see a movement away from gas-powered transportation.
"We do want to see a movement toward electrification of transportation, but we know that people aren’t in a position to buy an electric vehicle today," Granholm said.