Biden’s Plan To Ease Gas Prices Will Save Drivers a Few Cents at Some Pumps…2 Months From Now

President Joe Biden’s latest gambit to combat high gas prices will save some drivers a few cents at the pump—two months from now. However, consumers may not be able to save much as they will have to buy dirtier and less efficient fuel, which will mean more frequent refills.

Biden announced Tuesday that he will ask the Environmental Protection Agency for an emergency waiver allowing the sale of so-called E15 gasoline between June 1st and September 15th. This fuel is often banned due to concern about its contribution to environmental pollution.

The majority of gasoline sold in America is made with 10% ethanol. This mandate was originally established by George W. Bush’s administration. Higher blends—like “E15,” which is 15 percent ethanol—are a bit cheaper, but they burn less cleanly and provide marginally less energy. Although initially intended to be an eco-friendly alternative to the allegedly dirtier fossil fuels that are available, recent studies show that ethanol emits higher amounts of greenhouse gases. However, the Federal Government has supported ethanol production for many years. This is not surprising given the influence of powerful agricultural lobbyists.

E15 is also a little cheaper than regular gasoline. This is why the Biden administration suddenly seems so enthusiastic about it. Biden stated Tuesday that E15 was about 10 cents per gallon less as he made the announcement while visiting an Iowa ethanol plant. And some gas stations have a larger discount than this.”

But, there are important caveats to this statement. Biden acknowledged that E15 fuel was only sold at “a handful of thousand” pumps. There are actually 2,300 stations in America, with most located in the South or Midwest. NPR reported that Biden had also promised taxpayers $100 million to upgrade biofuel infrastructure.

Biden’s Emergency Order won’t apply to anyone until June 1, even if they have an E15 fueling station on their street. That’s perhaps a tacit admission from the White House that prices are likely to remain high for months—and a telling illustration of how little power the president has to curb high prices and control inflation in the short term.

Tuesday’s consumer price index report, which was released on Tuesday, showed inflation at a record 8.5 percent in the 12 most recent months. This is a 40% increase over previous years. Overall price rises in March were largely due to fuel inflation. Biden blamed Russia’s involvement in the war in Ukraine. But the White House continues to ignore or downplay the role that its own policies—and, in fairness, the policies of the Trump administration—played in worsening inflation by overheating the economy, particularly the decision to throw more than $800 billion in “free” money at American households during the pandemic.

Reuters points out that Biden’s ethanol decisions were won by “the U.S. (corn lobby) since the “expanding corn-based ethanol demand” will benefit farmers.

Biden stated Tuesday that his emergency ethanol order was not going to fix all of our problems. It’s unclear that any one of these problems will be solved by it.


Is it inflation or unemployment that matters most?

Justin Wolfers, a Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and University of Michigan economist, wonders why 40-years-high inflation rates are treated as more important than the 50-year low unemployment rates.

He makes an interesting point in one way. Inflation is not the only economic indicator out there, and right now workers are having an easy time finding jobs and seeing wages rising—as long as you don’t look at inflation, which is turning those wage gains negative.

There are several answers to this question. Bad news gets more attention than good news. Inflation hasn’t been an important story in a long time and is therefore more fascinating than traditional employment reports, even those that are historically excellent. Josh Barro writes that perhaps the most significant thing about inflation is its lack of prominence. Very seriousIt is because wages are not rising quickly enough to keep up with inflation. Employed Workers feel like they’re falling behind

The sad truth is that the tight labor market, which was meant to be two positive things, actually did only one. The positive thing about it was that it made it simpler than ever to find work. This is especially true for marginalized people who have the hardest time finding jobs. That’s great. But the other thing a lot of people expected—I expected—was that a tight job situation would tend to force wages to rise faster than prices, with workers capturing a larger share of total economic output as income. The opposite of what is actually happening, however, it’s not true.


The ability to dismantle global supply chains doesn’t make them stronger. According to a report released by the International Monetary Fund, it is actually the reverse.

Reuters Reports:

The solution isn’t in dismantling the global value chain. “More diversification than ever improves resilience” were the authors in a blog article that was published with the chapter.

Researchers created an analogous lockdown to what was happening in China’s early 2020. This resulted in the economy producing around 0.8 percent less labor supply when the largest supplier of intermediate component suppliers reduced its supply by 25%.

However, if there was greater diversification between source countries, this decline could be cut by half to 0.4%.

High source diversification can reduce GDP drop by around 5 percent even in situations where multiple countries are affected.


• Police in New York are looking for a 62-year-old man, Frank R. James, who has been named a “person of interest” in Monday’s Brooklyn subway shooting that left 23 injured.

• In China, other cities might soon be joining Shanghai under strict COVID lockdown—though it is notable that Shanghai’s draconian rules don’t seem to be preventing case numbers from spiking:

• Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are fleeing Hong Kong in even larger volumes than usual now that another COVID wave is striking China:

• It’s not just you: Everything really has gotten stupider.

• A Twitter shareholder is suing Elon Musk, who is now the social media company’s largest shareholder, based on allegations that Musk failed to disclose that he owned more than 5 percent of the company before acquiring more shares in recent weeks.

• A lawsuit alleges that this Texas prosecutor spend years writing rulings for the judge who was hearing his cases—and getting paid to do it.

• Drone delivery is the future, but will it ever be the present? But not right now.