By Justin Sink
While gasoline prices are far below 2019 levels, they’ve steadily risen in recent weeks. Pump prices averaged $1.77 on April 27, and the American Automobile Association says they’re now $1.85 a gallon.
The White House has looked to bolster energy companies during the crisis, which saw energy prices plummet amid collapsed demand from the coronavirus outbreak and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette have been considering options to help ensure capital keeps flowing to U.S. oil producers. And the Federal Reserve made changes to its broad Main Street lending program last week — including some modifications sought by oil industry advocates — though few producers are likely to benefit as lenders back off from the sector.
Trump has also said he wants to add as much as 75 million barrels of oil to the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, taking advantage of record low prices for crude, and that he’ll consider blocking imports of crude from Saudi Arabia.
In early April, Trump helped broker a deal in which major producers — including Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and the U.S. — coordinate output cuts to address a supply glut.