Kemp Touts Lower Prices at the Pump Month After Gas Tax Suspension

Georgia’s governor is touting lower gas prices one month after he signed into law a bill suspending the state’s tax on gasoline.

“A month ago, I signed HB304 to temporarily suspend the state gas tax and help counter Biden-flation at the pump,” Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said on Twitter. “This week, the price of an avg. gallon in GA was down 57 cents. We’ll keep doing our part to lessen the impact of failed policies on Georgians’ wallets.”

Georgia’s gas tax is 29.1 cents per gallon.

HB 304 passed unanimously through both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly in February. Shortly thereafter, Kemp signed the bill into law.

One month ago, a gallon of gas in Georgia averaged $4.28 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). As of Friday, that number was $3.71 per gallon.

The decline in prices at the pump is not entirely due to the temporary nixing of the gas tax.

At the beginning of April, the Biden Administration released 180 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to combat the skyrocketing prices.

That has temporarily led to a decline of about 30 cents per gallon of gas nationwide after prices spiked in mid-March.

But that drop might be short-lived, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

Prices are “still subject to changes in global supply and demand, COVID and Russia’s war on Ukraine,” he told MarketWatch, adding that drivers “should enjoy the decline while it lasts.”

Kemp blamed the Biden administration for the sharp rise in gas prices to begin with, and indeed, gas prices have steadily risen since Biden took office.

“President Biden took office in January of 2021, and to understand why we are in this current state of record-high inflation and costs to the average American family, people can simply track his first year of misguided policy decisions,” Kemp said.

Meanwhile, Democrats have blamed everyone from Russian President Vladimir Putin to oil companies for the rise in prices.

Georgia Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) blamed “corporate greed.”

“Whether it’s working to ease supply chain issues, crack down on corporate greed, or cap out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, I’m committed to lowering rising costs for Georgia families,” he said in a March press release. “Hard-working Georgians being squeezed at the pump understand that every penny counts, and the Gas Prices Relief Act is my latest effort to help working- and middle-class families overcome the economic pressures of the pandemic, and come out on top.”

An Ohio congressman, meanwhile, blamed Putin.

“Today I’ll vote to ban U.S. dollars from funding Putin’s war machine. Now we must do everything in our power to shield working people from Putin’s price hike at the pump by fully restoring America’s energy independence and passing a working-class tax cut,” Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) said in March.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Brian Kemp” by Governor Brian Kemp.

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