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As Mississippi gas prices hit 7-year high, House energy chair says Biden’s orders not completely to blame

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - With gas prices in the Magnolia State hitting a seven-year high this week -- flirting with $3 a gallon, according to MississippiGasPrices.com -- some question why it’s happening and point to President Joe Biden’s actions as the primary reason.

House Energy Chair and State Rep. Brent Powell said Biden’s executive orders did play a role, but he believes those prices are soaring for a multitude of reasons.

“The current administration [actions], this is what most people would think is an all-out assault on the U.S. oil and gas industry as it is, so that’s going to limit potential investment into drilling,” Powell said. “But you got to look at this more globally.”

Powell said the pandemic forced oil and gas providers to shut down, driving supply up, which in turn meant cutting production.

Now that production has to be increased domestically and abroad.

“OPEC is not wanting to increase their outputs, their daily outputs of crude. So that creates that strain on that part of it,” Powell said. “Another part is because natural gas prices have gotten so high, Europe and Asia are having to rely more on crude to produce their power, their electricity and such. So that’s also sucking more of the crude out of the general market there.”

Powell said executive orders from the Biden administration have affected U.S. production of crude, though, which now stands at about 11 million barrels a day versus 13 million typically.

“You’re shutting down the leases in these areas, these take years to come online. So now you’re creating a hiccup in the chain, for the most part. So the Biden administration, if they release some of these, these lands for production, you’re going to see daily barrels of oil coming back up, which helps us out.”

Powell said he believes that once the U.S. and OPEC increase production, Mississippians will see those prices come back down, but it would likely be next year before that starts to happen.

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