White House officials attempted a small victory as millions hit the road for the holidays this week, touting small drops in gasoline prices even though costs at the pump are still much higher than at the same time last year.
“As people leave for Christmas weekend, gasoline prices continue to drop – down 25 cents a gallon in many places since @POTUS announced the globally coordinated strategic oil release, ”the White House chief of staff said. Ron Klain tweeted Thusday.
Klain was referring to the release of 50 million barrels of oil from U.S. reserves, which the White House announced over Thanksgiving week in an attempt to counter rising gas prices.
Two days earlier, White House deputy director of communications Kate Berner said gas prices fell 12 cents from mid-November.
The national average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline on Friday was $ 3.29, according to AAA.
That number is down 11 cents from the same day last month, but up 46% from the average price of $ 2.25 a gallon on Christmas Eve last year.
This fact has not escaped some social media users, one of which accused Berner of using a “tip board”.
“We would like to make a formal offer to create your cards for you, pro bono”, Free Hedgeye, an independent investment research firm. “Charter crime for the history books.”
“Investment Banking 101,” tweeted business-oriented social media satirist Litquidity. “When you stretch the Y axis to make the data look better, and you also do a cumulative price drop to destabilize the customer. “
Klain and Berner’s triumphant claims were echoed when the Congressional Democratic campaign committee was criticized on social media earlier this month for touting a price cut of less than two cents.
“Thanks, @JoeBiden,” the House Democrats campaigning organization tweeted on Dec. 2 with a graph showing the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline dropping from $ 3.395 on Nov. 22 to $ 3.38 November 29.
Critics scoffed at the chart, noting that the y-axis showed the price in fractions of a cent to make the decline appear stronger.
Earlier this month, the AAA estimated that more than 109 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles by road, train or plane this holiday season, despite high gas prices as well as an increase in cases of COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant.