© Bloomberg. Lawrence Summers
(Bloomberg) — Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers criticized President Joe Biden’s efforts to lower the price of gasoline, saying it should be allowed to rise because fossil fuel consumption warms the planet.
Summers said in an interview Friday on Bloomberg Television’s “Wall Street Week” that the Biden administration should instead adjust its trade and economic policies to help lower the price of other goods.
“There’s no more important price to increase in the American economy than the price of carbon-based fuels,” said Summers, a paid Bloomberg contributor. “This is a perverse kind of step from my point of view. I’d much rather see us do it in other ways than by helping OPEC.”
Read more: Biden Casts Himself as Cheap-Gas Champion as Prices Crest
The White House didn’t immediately comment on the remarks from Summers, who has acted as an informal adviser to Biden on the economy.
Biden on Wednesday urged foreign oil producers to boost output to bring down gasoline prices for U.S. consumers, even though those prices appear poised to fall.
The president and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan pressured OPEC and its allies to reverse pandemic-era production cuts, while top economic adviser Brian Deese asked the Federal Trade Commission to address any “illegal conduct” that might be raising prices.
The moves come as Biden faces criticism from Republicans that his policies are causing inflation to spike, particularly his economic program and decision to block the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline.
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