(CBS DETROIT) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is urging President Joe Biden and Congress to temporarily pause the federal gas tax amid high prices at the pump.
According to AAA, the state currently sits at $5.14 a gallon, which is 7 cents less than last week and a decrease for the first time in weeks. However, it’s 17 cents higher than the national average, which has dropped to $4.96 a gallon.
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“Americans are feeling the pain at the pump. This month, gas reached $5 a gallon nationwide. For working families in Michigan from Macomb to Marquette who are facing rising prices on everyday expenses, this is unsustainable,” Whitmer said in the letter to Biden. “While the causes are varied, from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia to ongoing supply chain challenges, the pain being felt by people is tangible.”
This comes as Michigan Republican and Democratic senators pushed ahead with bills to pause the gas tax late last month. The bills would pause collections on the 6% sales and use taxes on gas purchases.
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AAA officials say with the national average dropping below $5, the demand for gas declined from 9.2 million barrels per day to 9.09 million barrels per day. In addition, the cost of oil fell from $122 per barrel to $110 per barrel.
“The recent high prices may have led to a small drop in domestic gasoline demand as fewer drivers fueled up last week,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said in a statement. “This dip, coupled with less costly oil, has taken some steam out of surging pump prices. And this is happening right before drivers gas up for what AAA forecasts will be a busy July 4th travel weekend.”
Read Whitmer’s full letter below:
“Dear President Biden:
“Americans are feeling the pain at the pump. This month, gas reached $5 a gallon nationwide. For working families in Michigan from Macomb to Marquette who are facing rising prices on everyday expenses, this is unsustainable. While the causes are varied, from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia to ongoing supply chain challenges, the pain being felt by people is tangible. We have all seen it, heard it, or felt it ourselves. I am grateful to you for releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but we must do more to help families.
“I write to you today to urge you to work with Congress to temporarily pause the federal gas tax. In March, I led a group of governors to support of this proposal.
“Getting this done would save families money right now. As Americans bear the brunt of inflation and face rising prices on everything from groceries, childcare, rent, and other critical expenses, the federal government has the ability to reduce the price of fuel and put more money in their pockets. Getting this done will offer real, immediate relief without compromising the federal government’s ability to make infrastructure investments.
“Here in Michigan, you have a willing partner in providing relief to families and putting more money in people’s pockets. In March, I called for a temporary suspension of the state sales tax on gas, and last month, I proposed MI Tax Rebate Right Now, a plan to send $500 to Michigan’s working families right away. We can take this step because of our effective fiscal management and hardworking people and small businesses, who helped our state bring in billions in additional revenue. MI Tax Rebate Right Now proposes sending some of that revenue back to Michiganders because they need it now more than ever.
“I will work across the aisle with the Michigan Legislature to get this done and use every tool at my disposal to ensure working families can pay the bills and put food on the table.
“The American people are counting on all of us to provide real relief right now so they can pay the bills and put food on the table. Let us draw on the grit and determination our working families show every day. I urge you to work with Congress to temporarily pause the federal gas tax, and I pledge to continue finding creative ways to put money back in people’s pockets.”
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