Leaving aside the still-high price of diesel, a backlog in new trucks and a difficulty in finding younger drivers could mean an already-stressed industry will remain that way for months, and possibly even years.
The report comes as the Biden administration prepares in the coming months to unveil new safety-related rules to curb methane emissions from pipeline systems that transport gas from production to local distribution.
The president will also call on states to temporarily suspend state fuel taxes, which are often higher than federal rates, and he will challenge major oil companies to bring back idled refining capacity.
Particularly galling to the White House is the jump in industry stock buybacks, returning to investors profits that the administration wants invested in more refining capacity to bring gasoline prices down.
The United States is considering yet another massive release — of up to 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over months — to stave off consumer energy inflation, according to sources.