A car drives by a Speedway gas station next to the Shell refinery on March 03, 2021 in Martinez, California. Gas prices have increased across the United States to a national average of $2.72 per gallon, an increase of 30 cents from one month ago. Gas in California has an average price of $3.68 per gallon, the highest in the nation.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Gas prices are high. Here's why
04:01 - Source: CNNBusiness
CNN  — 

The Biden administration is calling on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies like Russia to do more to combat rising energy prices, an effort that comes as gas prices are at a seven-year high.

Warning that higher gas prices “risk harming the ongoing global recovery,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement Wednesday that the US is “engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices,” saying that OPEC “must do more to support the recovery.”

The US is not an OPEC member, however, the Biden administration has been engaged with countries in the group and its allies, known as OPEC+.

The high price at the pump comes as prices are rising overall in the US. A Bureau of Labor Statistics report out Wednesday found that consumer prices rose 4.3% in the 12 months ending in July, with prices rising 0.5% from June to July. The average price of gas is $3.19 as of Wednesday morning, per AAA. That’s up more than $1 from the average price one year ago of $2.17.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday argued that President Joe Biden isn’t overly concerned with a recent jump in consumer prices, arguing that core inflation is decelerating.

Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins for the President’s reaction to the jump in consumer prices and level of concern with inflation, Psaki contented that “core inflation … was not only below expectations but it decelerated from last month and even from the month prior.”

“So, over the last couple of months we actually saw it actually trended downward over the last three months, which is an encouraging sign,” she added.

The administration is also using its own tools to crack down on illegal activity contributing to the rising prices, which come as Americans get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus and are resuming summer travel.

In a letter to Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan, National Economic Council director Brian Deese called on the FTC to “consider using all of its available tools to monitor the U.S. gasoline market and address any illegal conduct that might be contributing to price increases for consumers at the pump,” citing “divergences” between oil prices and the cost at the pump.

Deese asked Khan to consider partnering with the Department of Justice, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and state attorneys general in the effort.

CNN’s Matt Egan contributed to this report.