LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- President Joe Biden is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate if large oil and gas companies are involved in illegal activity that's causing the price of gas to soar.
In a letter to the FTC chair, the president alleges that there is "mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies." Biden added that the largest oil and gas companies in America are generating significant profits off higher energy prices.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach Wednesday, said he supports the president's action.
"I applaud the president today for his letter, his public letter, his public sentiment around potential manipulation as it relates to what's happening with OPEC, what's happening with oil-producing nations around the world," Newsom said.
So why have gas prices gone up more the $1.50/gallon in the past year?
Dr. Rodney Ramcharan, a finance and business economics professor at USC, explains that the demand for oil during the pandemic fell sharply and now that the vaccine is readily available, people are now venturing out.
"With the advent of the vaccine, there's a rush to now go and spend, there's a rush to come back," he said. "And so that sort of captures the oil market off guard, so now you see this big surge in prices in oil which then translates into gas prices."
Ramcharan points out with the higher gas prices, that will also have an impact on items such as groceries. The price of fuel to deliver groceries to your neighborhood stores will be passed on to you...
Some ride-share drivers are feeling the pain at the pump. Some are saying it's getting too expensive for them to drive people around, such as local Uber driver Giovani Diaz, who said he's looking for another way to make a living.
Matthew Bandura has been driving for Uber for five years. He says ride-share companies like Uber are doing what they can to help drivers out. He says Uber gives incentives and bonuses to make up for the high cost of gas.
The advice from the experts is to continue to shop around for the lowest prices.