WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans will be paying more for gasoline as they travel for the holidays this year.
According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline currently sits around $3.41 gallon. Last year, it was around $2.12.
"It's just terrible, prices keep going up," said Taisha, a Doordash driver in Baltimore.
Can President Joe Biden actually do anything about the high price of gasoline? In short, the answer is yes, he does have some options.
However, it’s unclear what the impact of those options would be.
Option #1: Order an investigation
Last week, Biden opened an investigation by asking the Federal Trade Commission to see if energy companies are manipulating prices.
That, however, isn’t guaranteed to deliver any real results at the pump, and investigations take time.
Option #2: Pressure other countries to pump more oil
The White House has done that too, but so far, many countries rich in oil in the Middle East haven’t listened. The United Arab Emirates' energy minister has called on Americans to remain “calm.”
Option #3: Tap into petroleum reserves in the U.S., which are for emergencies
So far, Biden has not done that yet, even though many have called for it.
Currently, the U.S. has over 600 million barrels in secret storage near the coast of Louisiana and Texas.
Analysts have said that releasing the barrels may only make a difference for a short time.
The president currently does not have any authority to force American energy companies to produce more, and there is little to suggest he ever would.
After all, the Biden administration has repeatedly called for fewer fossil fuels to be used in order to help the climate.
Biden can, however, continue to pressure countries to act.
The South China Morning Post reports Biden asked Chinese leaders to release some of their crude oil reserves last week.