Why can’t we agree about why gas prices are so high?

March 31, 2022

President Joe Biden announced the largest-ever oil reserve release today in the midst of record-high gas prices. Time will tell what effect that has on gas prices, but in the meantime, we are all Ice T.

As news pundits yell amongst themselves about who’s to blame, we took a look at what Twitter users are talking about when it comes to gas prices. Below, you’ll find a summary of the 100 most retweeted tweets (representing tweets people relate to the most) mentioning “gas,” “oil,” or “petroleum” in the past 90 days.

Many of the tweets we looked at weren’t partisan, so we broke it down by theme instead.

Key Themes

Keep in mind that the ideas we present here are opinions expressed by individuals, not fact. Many will appear to you as obviously true or false — to keep our bias in check, it’s helpful to ask yourself why.

Corporate greed

“Oil and gas companies are to blame — they are making record profits as oil prices fall and gas prices rise.”

See @davelevitan, @sean_eggman, @OMGno2trump, @QasimRashid, @POTUS, @EdMarkey

“It’s not inflation, it’s corporate greed.”

See @DanPriceSeattle, @SenSanders

Ending Russian oil imports was a good idea...

“Even though it raised gas prices.”

See @meiselasb

“Because we don’t import enough oil from Russia for it to impact gas prices.”

See @DoctorHenryCT

Is the government responsible? If so, how?

Tweets about the role of the government were the only ones explicitly divided by political ideology, so we separated them out.

To the left…

“Gas prices are high around the world, it’s not the US government’s fault.”

See @TraceyDelaney

“Republicans are corrupt and are profiting off of high energy prices.”

See @BetoORourke

To the right… 

“Democrats are telling people struggling with gas prices to buy expensive electric cars.”

See @townhallcom, @GovRonDeSantis, @ClayTravis

“The government sends money to Ukraine, but not to Americans struggling with high gas prices.”

See @TheJordanRachel, @GhostFaceDrizzy

“Biden is shifting oil reliance from one dictator to another, instead of allowing US companies to fix the problem.”

See @cvpayne

“Democrats are pretending like they didn’t blame Trump for high gas prices while he was president.”

See @DanielTurnerPTF

“Inflation is hurting Americans, and Biden needs to help out.”

See @Key_Solid

“Trump warned the world about the dangers of relying on Russian oil, and they laughed at him.”

See @MAGAJew2

Other issues (and solutions)

“Low wages are the real problem — it’s a shame so many Americans can’t afford these higher prices.”


“Price-gouging in other sectors is just as bad (if not worse) than gas price-gouging, and it deserves the same level of attention.”


“We need to increase production of oil and gas, even though it’s bad for the environment.”



The vast majority of these tweets see rising gas prices as a real problem — but that doesn’t mean everyone’s united. Some are narrowing in on the role oil and gas companies play in contributing to high prices, and others are concerned about misplaced political priorities.

This divide is unsurprising. Our brains naturally focus on information that fits well within our worldview — even when we’re presented with evidence that says differently. So people who are naturally skeptical of corporations will focus on ideas that blame oil and gas companies for high gas prices, and others who are naturally skeptical of the current government will focus on ideas that blame Biden or Democratic policies. 

It’s important to be aware of our innate biases and how they affect our interpretations and reactions to new information. One way to practice is to examine how others are talking about the issue with the intention to learn from their perspective, asking ourselves: What might I be missing?

Want to read more about gas prices?

Average US Gas Prices Hit Record High — AllSides Headline Roundup

What happened the last time high gas prices dominated US politics — Vox (Bias rating: Left)

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