PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for the remainder of the summer to help ease the pain at the pump. As of Wednesday in the Philadelphia region, the average gallon of gas is about $5.03.
In South Jersey, drivers are paying $4.90 a gallon on average. In Delaware, prices dropped a penny to $4.94.
This potential gas tax holiday could bring a little relief for drivers. President Biden is now urging Congress to pass a federal gas tax holiday.
It would be in effect for the remainder of the summer.
“If you’re trying to get down the shore, it’s like $40 one way and $40 coming home, so it’s not easy,” driver Dutch Smith said.
Hard roads are ahead as the busy summer travel season gets underway.
“It’s very expensive and it’s hard to find a gas station because I have to put plus in my car, so it’s hard to find a gas station that’s under $6,” driver Chris Patterson said.
The strain at the pump prompted President Biden to call for a federal gas tax holiday. It would equal about 18 cents a gallon.
“It doesn’t help reduce all the pain, but it will be a big help, I’m doing my part,” Biden said.
But some drivers are questioning what 18 cents would do.
“They are so high already, I don’t think it makes much of a difference,” Smith said. “It’s $5.40 for gas right now.”
That’s why the president is also calling on states to eliminate their gas taxes. Similar to the federal government, states use their revenue from gas taxes to fund infrastructure projects.
That prompted a representative in Delaware Gov. John Carney’s Office to tell Eyewitness News they would not issue a gas tax holiday.
This holiday will need congressional approval, but some are questioning how much relief you’ll actually see in your wallet.
“It’s a drop in the bucket as far as it goes for consumers and you and I filling up at gas stations. It’ll help a little bit, but not much,” Dr. Wojtek Wolfe said.
Dr. Wojtek Wolfe is a political science professor at Rutgers Camden. He says in the short term, a gas tax holiday might be politically expedient for the president but says it will do little if long-term energy policies aren’t updated.
On a global scale, he says it’ll be years before higher gas and energy prices go down.
“It’s no longer a political issue, it’s not an economic issue. A physics issue and geopolitical issue,” Dr. Wolfe said.