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WASHINGTON–Transportation Secretary and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says “the price of gasoline is not set by the Oval Office.”

In a Sunday interview on ABC’s “This Week”, Buttigieg accused big oil companies of not ramping up enough production at the expense of consumers. He believes Biden did the right thing by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“When an oil company is deciding hour by hour how much to charge you for a gallon of gas, they are not calling the Administration asking us what they should do. They’re doing it based on their goal of maximizing profit,” said Buttigieg.

Buttigieg says President Biden called for a “use it or lose it” policy.

“If you’re sitting on these thousands of permits like these oil executives have been and you’re not using them, then you’re going to be held accountable for that. Now so far, Congressional Republicans have blocked action to do something like that,” said Buttigieg.

GasBuddy says the Indiana average for gas is $5 per gallon, which is a new all-time high. That is higher than the national average of $4.85.

“Gasoline inventories continue to decline even with demand softening due to high prices, a culmination of less refining capacity than we had prior to Covid, and strong consumption, a situation that doesn’t look to improve drastically anytime soon. Nine states have average gas prices that stand beyond the $5 per gallon mark, with more set to join in the days and weeks ahead,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.