Gas prices are fueling inflation in the Midwest, and across the nation

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:08 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - With the costs of goods and services at new highs, Americans are desperate for some financial relief. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the uptick is fueled by record prices at the pump.

“It’s truly unaffordable,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri). “Right now, we’re averaging about $4.30 to $4.35 statewide.” Hawley is calling on the Biden administration to open up America’s energy production to drive down gas prices.

In the Midwest, energy costs skyrocketed 33.8% in the past year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said those costs are contributing to surging inflation which is at a 40-year record high of 9.1%.

“Inflation is the number one issue out there, right,” asked Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D-Ky). Fischer recently attended a White House summit to highlight top American Rescue plan workforce practices from governors, mayors, and county leaders across the country. He explains what he thinks needs to happen to bring energy prices down. “Businesses have got to get our supply chains back together especially on the capital goods side so those costs will come down,” said Fischer. “Energy costs seem to be going down 30 days in a row.”

Gas Buddy shows the average price of a gallon of gas in Midwest states ranges from $4.00 to $5.00. Without the option to take public transportation, families in rural areas have no choice but to drive the distance.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small says the Biden administration is looking at long-term solutions. “Investing in ways to reduce the cost of fuel whether it’s through biofuels as well as shortening those distances you may have to go for healthcare, for school, or for your job.”

In the short-term, President Biden says he will continue to release oil from America’s strategic petroleum reserve to drive down gas prices.

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