DETROIT – President Joe Biden just launched new proposals to bring some relief to Americans suffering from high prices at the gas pump.
But it’s unclear if he has the support in Congress, at the state level, or from oil companies to turn those plans into reality.
Biden spoke at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, and his new plan has a three-pronged approach to lower gas prices in the short term, but he can’t act unilaterally on any of them.
First, he’s calling on Congress to suspend the federal tax on gasoline and diesel for three months. That would eliminate more than 18 cents from the price drivers pay for a gallon of gas.
The president is calling on states to suspend their gas taxes, as well. That’s an effort that has failed in Michigan, at least so far.
Plus, Biden is asking gas companies to refine more oil. Many refineries were closed during the COVID pandemic.
He’s challenging gas station owners to pass any savings on oil prices to customers more quickly, arguing these are not normal times.
Michigan Democrats killed a plan to suspend the state’s gas tax a few months ago.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just sent her new response to Biden’s request., saying she’s focusing on other ideas.
“In March, I called for a temporary suspension of the state sales tax on gas, and last month, I proposed the ‘MI Tax Rebate Right Now,’ a plan to send $500 to Michigan’s working families right away,” Whitmer said.
So far, Local 4 hasn’t received many details on that rebate proposal.