Soaring gas prices prompt President Biden to urge FTC to examine potential ‘illegal conduct’ by oil and gas companies

NBC News reports Biden’s letter claims there’s ‘mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior’

FILE - Pump jacks extract oil from beneath the ground east of New Town, N.D., on May 19, 2021. The Biden administration said Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, petroleum industry regulators for the first time will analyze greenhouse gas emissions from federal oil and gas lease sales on a national scale. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File) (Matt Brown, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday to investigate “anti-consumer” behavior by oil and gas companies and whether it’s a reason for the soaring gas prices across the country.

Biden’s letter to Lina Khan, chair of the FTC, claims “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.” Biden notes that prices at the pump have risen even as the costs of refined fuel have fallen and industry profits have gone up.

“Usually, prices at the pump correspond to movements in the price of unfinished gasoline, which is the main ingredient in the gas people buy at the gas station,” said Biden, in his letter on Wednesday. “But in the last month, the price of unfinished gasoline is down more than 5 percent while gas prices at the pump are up 3 percent in that same period.”

Around 48 million people will take to the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday, according predictions by motorist assistance company AAA. At around $3.40, the average price at the pump this week is the highest since 2014, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

Read the full report from NBCNews.com here.