Biden touts efforts to cool soaring inflation, says gas prices will fall 'before long'

Biden: 'Families can rest easy' regarding rising prices

President Biden on Tuesday outlined the steps his administration is taking to combat surging inflation ahead of the holiday season, saying the different actions will help ease supply-chain bottlenecks and reduce rising gas prices. 

The government recently reported that consumer prices surged at the fastest pace in more than three decades in October – driven in part by a spike in fuel prices – putting fresh pressure on the Biden administration to address the inflation jump.  

"Moms and dads are worried, asking will there be enough food we can afford to buy for the holidays, will we be able to get Christmas presents to the kids on time and if so, will they cost me an arm and a leg," Biden said in remarks from the White House on Tuesday. 


He pointed to the administration's plan to clear up backlogs at some of the nation's biggest ports, including establishing around-the-clock operations at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. The president has also spoken with the CEOs of Wal-Mart, Target, UPS and FedEx about how to relieve supply-chain challenges as ships wait to dock at some of the biggest ports.

A gas pump is seen in a car at a Shell gas station in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2021.  (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Biden said there has been a 33% reduction in sitting containers blocking movement at the ports, while shipping prices have declined 25%.

"Families can rest easy," he said. "Grocery stores are well stocked with turkey and everything else you need for Thanksgiving and the major retailers I mentioned have confirmed that their shelves will be well-stocked in stores this holiday season."

Biden also focused on rising gas prices, which are playing a large role in the recent inflation surge, skyrocketing 6.1% from September to October. A gallon of gas, on average, was $3.41 nationwide on Tuesday, according to AAA – up from $2.11 a year ago. 

In an attempt to reduce prices, Biden on Tuesday morning ordered a record-setting 50 million barrels of oil released from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a decision made in coordination with other major energy-consuming countries including India, the United Kingdom and China.

(Photo by Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images)

President Biden addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021 at U.N. headquarters in New York City.  ((Photo by Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

Established after a 1973-74 oil embargo by Arab members of OPEC, the reserve has been used in several emergencies, including in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina made landfall and destroyed swaths of the Gulf of Mexico oil infrastructure. At the time, the Bush administration authorized the release of 20.8 million barrels of crude oil to U.S. producers. 

"The fact is we always get through those spikes but we’re going to get through this one as well as hopefully faster," Biden said, adding: "While our combined actions will not solve the problems of high gas prices overnight, it will make a difference. It will take time, but before long you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank." 


Last week, Biden called on the Federal Trade Commission to probe whether oil and gas companies are engaging in criminal conduct by profiting from artificially high prices at the pump, even as wholesale fuel costs decline.

He also rejected efforts by Republicans and other critics to tether his climate-change initiatives to rising gas prices.

"My effort to combat climate change is not raising the price of gas," he said.