Deputy Secretary of Energy explains why gas prices are dropping

David Turk, U.S. deputy secretary of energy, discusses the recent decline in gas prices after historic highs
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 2:44 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Gas prices are falling after reaching record highs this summer. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk explains the nearly $0.80 drop in average price per gallon nationally.

According to AAA, the average price per gallon of gas is at or below four dollars across North Central Florida, with the state reporting an average price of $3.88. That’s down from the highest state average price of $4.89 reported on June 13, 2022.

The deputy secretary says gas prices rose sharply this year due to factors impacting the global supply of oil. The supply of oil was low because of a drop in production during the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, demand rose rapidly.

“Very early on, because we saw this challenge, the dual challenge of COVID and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the president authorized the largest release of our strategic petroleum reserves ever in the U.S. country’s history,” Turk explained.

A million barrels of oil were released from the nation’s petroleum reserves in a six-month period.

U.S. field production of crude oil production dropped sharply when the pandemic began in 2020. Production steadily increased after President Joe Biden took office in 2021, but production is still below record highs reported at the end of 2019.

U.S. Field Production of Crude Oil
U.S. Field Production of Crude Oil(U.S. Energy Information Administration)

Turk says the administration has worked with the private sector to encourage companies to increase the production of oil to meet demand.

“We’ve had conversations, these are private sector decisions in terms of how much production. We have been trying to have those conversations working with domestic companies, working with international countries as well because it is a global market,” said Turk.

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The deputy secretary declined to offer a prediction on whether prices will continue to fall because many of the factors are outside of the administration’s control, however, Turk is optimistic.

“Right now we see a lot of good trends, good indicators along those lines. U.S. production, near-term production, is actually going up pretty significantly. Production from Canada, production from Brazil, and other countries are going up along those lines. So, we will continue doing everything we possibly can to keep that downward pressure as much as we can,” said Turk.

According to the deputy secretary, the newly proposed “Inflation Reduction Act” will also help keep prices down by working to promote clean energy. Last week Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and conservative Sen. Joe Manchin announced an agreement they reached to pass the bill which contains many of President Joe Biden’s priorities.

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