President Joe Biden said during a CNN town hall event on Thursday night that there is not much he can do to lower soaring gas prices, which have reportedly reached as high a $7.59 in at least one town in California.

“My guess is you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by — going into the winter — I mean, excuse me, into next year, in 2022,” Biden continued. “I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices.”

“I must tell you, I don’t have a near-term answer,” Biden later added. “There’s two things I could do: I could go in the petroleum reserve and take out and probably reluce [sic] — reduce the price of gas maybe 18 cents or so a gallon. It’s still going to be above three bucks. And one of the things that I refuse to have happen, because I didn’t want anybody — I made a commitment: If you pass the stuff I’m talking about, not — not one single penny in tax would go against anybody making less than 400 grand.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA THE WHITE HOUSE:

MR. COOPER: What about gas prices? Because some states —

THE PRESIDENT: Gas pri- —

MR. COOPER: — are seeing —

THE PRESIDENT: Gas prices relate to a foreign policy initiative that is about something that goes beyond the cost of gas. And we’re about $3.30 a gallon most places now, when it’s up from — when it was down in the single digits. I mean — single di- — a dollar-plus. And — and that’s because of the supply being withheld by OPEC.

And so, there’s a lot of negotiation that is — there — there’s a lot of Middle Eastern folks who want to talk to me.

MR. COOPER: Mm-hmm.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m not sure I’m going to talk to them. But the point is, it’s about gas production. There is things we can do, in the meantime, though.

MR. COOPER: Do you think there’s a — I mean, do you see a — do you have a timeline for gas prices of when you think they may start coming down?

THE PRESIDNET: My guess is you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by — going into the winter — I mean, excuse me, into next year, in 2022. I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices.

But, for example, for natural gas to heat your homes as winter is coming, there’s a lot — what people don’t realize: We put in billions of dollars in what they call “LIHEAP.” LIHEAP is the provision whereby you’re able to get funding from the federal government based upon your need to heat your home, and it is subsidized in a significant way. And there’s billions of dollars we have passed in the legislation I got passed in — in March of this year, because we anticipated that would be a problem, as well.

But the answer ultimately is — “ultimately” meaning the next three or four years — is investing in renewable energy. What I was able to do — (applause) — no, I — and, by the way, I really — I’m not — I’m not being — I mean, I’m being literal when I say this: What I was able to do when I ran — and you remember, Anderson, because I was on your show a couple times, and the issue was whether or not I could ever get the labor unions to support my environmental programs.

And I went out and I went to the IBEW and, as well, to the autoworkers, and I laid out my plan. They fully embraced it. Why? Because — and I spent time at General Motors and other companies, and I got General Mo- — I didn’t get them — General Motors decided, after a long time spent talking to me — they were suing California because they had a higher standard — mileage standard. They dropped the suit and agreed that they would be 50 percent electric vehicles by 2030 — by 2030. (Applause.) And now you have all three — all three major manufacturers saying the same thing.

So, what will ha- — what will happen is: You’re going to see a dramatic drop — a dramatic drop in what’s going to happen in terms of gas prices as we go into the next two or three years. Even if we’re not able to break the monopoly price — they’re keeping it up because — anyway.

So there’s — there — but I don’t — I must tell you, I don’t have a near-term answer. There’s two things I could do: I could go in the petroleum reserve and take out and probably reluce [sic] — reduce the price of gas maybe 18 cents or so a gallon. It’s still going to be above three bucks.

And one of the things that I refuse to have happen, because I didn’t want anybody — I made a commitment: If you pass the stuff I’m talking about, not — not one single penny in tax would go against anybody making less than 400 grand.

And so, if you notice, this is — these highway bills are not paid for by gas tax. They’re paid for by direct expenditures in other areas. So, the average person doesn’t have to pay more.

But it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be hard. There’s a possibility to be able to bring it down. Depends on — little bit on Saudi Arabia and a few other things that are in the offing.

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