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Energy Secretary Granholm sees ‘tough summer’ for U.S. drivers as fuel demand rises: ‘Driving season just started’

June 19, 2022, 4:14 PM UTC

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm warned U.S. drivers against expecting quick relief on gasoline prices amid tight oil supplies worldwide.

While the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected in its June short-term outlook that U.S. prices at the pump will average about $4.27 per gallon in the third quarter, the forecast could be “completely upended” by world events, for instance if the European Union were to fully cut off Russian oil, Granholm said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“But we know this is going to be a tough summer because driving season just started,” she said. “And we know that there will be continued upward pull on demand.”

The U.S. national average, which briefly topped $5 per gallon this month, stood at $4.98 on Sunday, according to the AAA auto club.

With President Joe Biden scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia in July, Granholm said the president “has asked for all suppliers around the globe to increase production.”  

Biden’s trip marks a reversal of  his pledge to make the kingdom a “pariah” over its human-rights record, including the slaying of Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist.

Biden is “very concerned” about human rights in Saudi Arabia and surely will raise the issue, Granholm said. 

“But he’s also very concerned about what people are experiencing at the pump and Saudi Arabia is head of OPEC,” she said. “We need to have increased production so that everyday citizens in America will not be feeling this pain that they’re feeling right now.”

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