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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Gasping at the pump – global gas prices soar ​

Prices at the pump are soaring. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, much of the world has been affected by the economic impact of sanctions, higher inflation, constrained supply, and overall uncertainty. In the G20 economies, consumers tend to complain most about the price of unleaded gas, which is affecting their ability to get around town and go on holiday. We look at how far north the G20’s gas prices have driven.

Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: What do Americans pay for in a gallon of gas?

US gas prices are hitting record levels due to a combination of Russia's war in Ukraine, supply chain snarls linked to China’s zero-COVID policy, and high demand coupled with low supply. Americans are not amused, and some are directing their anger at President Joe Biden, who's pulling every trick in the book to try to bring down oil prices. The thing is, crude is not the only thing you pay for at the pump. We take a look at the breakdown.

President Joe Biden speaks about gas prices at the White House.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What We're Watching: Biden's gas tax holiday plan, deadly quake in Afghanistan, Italy's Five Star party woes

Biden’s gas tax holiday fuels tepid response

In a bid to address rising gas prices at home, President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for a gas tax holiday that would lift federal taxes on gas and diesel for the next three months. The move aims to show that the White House is taking the plight of Americans seriously after gas prices topped a whopping $5 a gallon last week. But Congress is unlikely to approve the suspension. Even Democrats – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – have canned the idea, saying that it is tokenistic because lifting federal taxes (18 cents per gallon) will barely move the needle, and that any small gains will be made by … oil companies. Critics also say that it won't have a significant impact on the base price of gas, with all taxes on average (state and federal) accounting for just 12% of the overall price. Indeed, this is the latest (desperate) attempt by the Biden administration to tackle the rising cost of living that is pummeling working-class Americans and contributing to his cratering poll numbers ahead of November’s midterm elections. The next step? In July, Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia to try and get Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to pump more oil.

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The stovetop.

Reuters

The tentacles of a global energy crisis

The global energy market has been volatile for months, but things got particularly dicey this week after Russia slashed natural gas supplies to Europe via the undersea Nord Stream pipeline. Moscow cut gas supplies to Germany by a whopping 60%, to Slovakia by 30%, and to Italy by 15%.

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Biden's Trip to Saudi Arabia is About More Than Pumping Oil | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia is about more than pumping oil

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on US politics:

What is President Biden hoping to achieve by visiting Saudi Arabia?

This week the White House announced that President Joe Biden would make a visit to the Middle East. The most important part of the trip will be a stop in Saudi Arabia and a visit with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The President came into office saying he wanted to make the Saudis pariahs for their history of human rights abuses, including the kingdom's involvement in the 9/11 attacks, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and an ongoing war in Yemen that has resulted in tens of thousands of civilian casualties. But unfortunately for President Biden, his Middle East strategy has followed the Mike Tyson maxim that everyone has a plan until they're punched in the mouth.

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US President Joe Biden announces actions to lower gas prices

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What We're Watching: Biden moves on oil, US-Russia info wars, Costa Rica's vote

Major oil drama

President Joe Biden on Thursday ordered the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to release 1 million oil barrels per day for the next six months in order to bring down soaring gasoline prices over the war in Ukraine. Technically, more American oil on the global market would help lower prices, but Biden's move was met by a collective shrug by the OPEC+ group of oil-exporting countries, which announced they can’t do much to stop rising prices and signed off on a modest increase in production. Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, announced that Moscow will indeed demand payment in rubles for Russian oil from now on. Those who don’t comply could face being cut off. France and Germany said no way, but there's a loophole: oil buyers can still deal with Gazprombank, a Russian bank that hasn't been sanctioned yet (and is conveniently run by the state-owned energy giant Gazprom). What does this all mean? Oil prices will keep rising, but they won’t skyrocket just yet.

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