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Friday May 27th, 2022 6:31PM

Former U.S. Safety and Environment Enforcement director warns of future high gas prices

By Caleb Hutchins Reporter

Former Louisiana Lieutenant Governor and Director of the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Scott Angelle warns that gas prices may continue to rise over the coming months.

Angelle joined WDUN's "Newsroom" with Mitch Clarke this week and said that the current policies implemented by President Joe Biden's administration are one of the main factors driving up prices at the pump.

"You can't villify an industry," Angelle said. "We haven't been so hostile to an industry in American since the days of prohibition."

He also said increased demand as the economy starts to reopen after COVID-19 shutdowns has contributed to the increased prices, which are up almost a full dollar per gallon from this time in 2021.

While Angelle said some people may be concerned that removing restrictions from the U.S. oil industry could lead to environmental issues, he said emphasizing American oil production over imports could actually benefit the environment.

"Our environmental regulations are very robust here and about 75 percent of the oil that's important has a higher carbon intensity than the Gulf of Mexico oil," Angelle said. "The experts say that climate change is led by two things: carbon dioxide and methane and in both of those issues, the Gulf of Mexico is among the best provinces on the planet and yet we're being told 'no' to new leases in that area."

Officials with AAA said earlier in the week that gas prices could potentially rise to $4.00 per gallon of regular unleaded by Spring of 2022 and Angelle said that is a possibility if conditions don't improve.

"It's unfortunate because I think that there is time for a course correction," Angelle said. "We've had a significant under-investment in the energy sector and it's starting to show up with the strangled supply."

To hear more from Scott Angelle about the rising gas prices and issues facing the oil and energy industries, click play on the audio above.

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Former U.S. Safety and Environment Enforcement director warns of future high gas prices
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