U.S. President Joe Biden demands an investigation on oil companies over the increasing gas prices. He called for the Federal Trade Commission to do the probe through a letter addressed to the head of FTC.

However, the American Petroleum Institute had slammed Biden and redirected the blame on the president, saying that it is a distraction from the fundamental market shift that is taking place, according to The Daily Wire report. The organization described Biden's move as an "ill-advised government decision" that worsens the current situation.

The American Petroleum Institute said that the industry should be encouraging the safe and responsible development of American-made oil and natural gas.

Biden noted in his letter that gas prices at the pump remain high despite oil and gas companies' costs declining. The president then called on FTC to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump, adding that it should be done immediately.

Biden also said that FTC has already directed the commission staff to strengthen oversight of mergers in the oil and gas sector.

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Rising Gas Prices

An FTC spokesperson said they were also concerned about the issues raised in the letter sent to them. They added that the consumer agency was looking into the situation, according to a Reuters report.

The White House said that the FTC could use its authority to launch an "open study investigation" to acquire data on how companies set gas prices, as well as study actual pricing at the pumps.

Kevin Book, a managing director with Clearview Energy Partners, said that price changes usually take time to filter through consumers.

Book said that there is an "up-like-a-rocket" and "down-like-a-feather" movement that happens in gas prices, frustrating politicians.

Gas prices have increased during the pandemic amid a spike in oil price, with the U.S. benchmark crude oil nearly doubled over the last 12 months. It was trading in the $79 per barrel range on Wednesday, according to a USA Today report.

American Petroleum Institute Senior Vice President of policy, economics, and regulatory officers Frank Macchiarola said that the higher gas prices are caused by increasing demand for gasoline outpacing supply.

Biden's Approval Ratings

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Republicans are using concerns about inflation as a "cudgel" to attack the Biden administration. The president's approval ratings have also dropped to the lowest point of his presidency in recent months during growing concerns about rising prices.

The New York Post reported that just 41 percent of Americans approve of the president's performance, which was down by 11 points since spring.

In addition, 80 percent of Democrats are positive about Biden's performance. This is compared to 94 percent in June.

In June, seven out of 10 Democrats approved of Biden, compared to today's four out of 10 Democrats.

Biden's performance rating comes amid the handling of U.S. inflation, which is hitting a 30-year high in October.

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This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Mary Webber

WATCH: Biden sees possible 'illegal conduct' in gas price hike - from Reuters