OPINION: The US must take action to reduce gas prices

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Gas prices around the US continue to rise with no end in sight

Motorists around the country are at the mercy of the price of the pump.  Economic factors surrounding the pandemic and world conflict has driven the price of gas to a level that has not been seen since the economic recession of 2008.  As of March 21, 2022, the average price of a gallon of gas stands around $4.25.  In order to minimize the price of gas while also targeting the Russian economy, the state and federal government must come together to create a comprehensive approach to protect the wallets of American citizens.

Open the Keystone XL pipeline

Although the president does not set the price of gas, this does not excuse the bad policy decisions by the Biden administration.  On President Biden’s first day in office, an executive order was issued that canceled the Keystone XL pipeline which transported gas from Alberta Canada, down to Steele City, Nebraska where it would be distributed throughout the United States.  Even if Biden decided to reopen the pipeline, the effects would not be immediate; however, investing in the pipeline would create jobs while also lessening gas prices in the future.  Also, the cancelation of the pipeline proves that the demand of gas did not go down and shows the importance of this key supply chain.

Suspend state and federal gas taxes

Pennsylvanians suffer from the third highest state gas tax in the country, paying 57.8 cents per gallon on top of the 18.3 cent federal gas tax.  In order to combat gas prices, state and federal governments should consider putting a temporary stop to gas taxes.  By suspending this tax, gas prices would quickly dive below $4 per gallon, making the cost at the pump much more manageable.

While states around the country are arguing whether this so called “gas tax holiday” is sustainable, Maryland has fast tracked a bill which has caused their 37 cent state gas tax to be suspended for 30 days.  This bill was passed with unanimous support.

Even while the world is in a state of panic, US lawmakers must understand that their greatest priority should be the wellbeing of US citizens.  In order to prevent more economic hardships on Americans, steps should be made in order to ensure that the price of one of the most important necessities – gas, does not skyrocket.