Biden sees possible 'illegal conduct' in gas price hike

President Biden said Wednesday there was mounting evidence that oil and gas companies are engaging in anti-consumer behavior that's contributing to the pain Americans are feeling at the pump…

and he called on the Federal Trade Commission to dig deeper into possible "illegal conduct" in the market.

Biden already asked the FTC back in August to investigate - now he's upping the pressure.

In a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, Biden wrote, "I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct."

The White House is trying to do what it can to lower gasoline prices, which recently spiked to seven-year highs, contributing to a widespread inflation surge not seen in three decades.

But as Biden pointed out in his request - the price energy companies pay for unrefined gasoline has dropped over the past month, while the price consumers pay at the pump has not... and he highlighted two of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies are on track to nearly double their net income compared to 2019.

An FTC spokesperson said they were also concerned about the issues raised in the White House letter and that the consumer agency was looking into the situation.

The two largest oil and gas companies in the U.S., Exxon and Chevron, didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Biden's approval ratings have dropped to the lowest point of his presidency in recent months amid growing concerns about rising prices.

The national average for regular gasoline is $3.41 a gallon, which is up more than a dollar from a year ago, according to AAA.

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