On September 28, President Bidden warned oil and gas companies from increasing prices as Hurricane Ian nears landfall in Florida. According to Transport Topics, while speaking during a conference on hunger in America, Biden stated, “Do not, let me repeat, do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices or gouge the American people.” Biden said that the hurricane “provides no excuse for price increases at the pump” and if it happens, he will ask federal officials to determine “whether price gouging is going on.”
There are some signs that average fuel prices in Florida have risen significantly as the hurricane approaches. The statewide average, according to AAA, is just under $3.40 per gallon, which is six-tenths of a cent higher than a week ago. A 99-day streak of falling pump prices in the United States ended recently, and the 14-week drop was the longest since 2015. In June, the national average price had risen past $5 per gallon — and $6 in California — as the economic recovery and increased travel boosted demand for gasoline, while Russia’s war in Ukraine also contributed to increased oil prices.
Many energy analysts believe that prices will rise rather than fall in the coming months. However, changes in sentiment about the economy, Russia’s war against Ukraine, and even hurricane season — which is always a threat to disrupt Gulf Coast refineries — make predictions uncertain.