According to government circles, US President Joe Biden wants to suspend the gasoline tax for three months because of record high prices at the pumps.

A corresponding request should go to Congress on Wednesday, as a senior government official said.

Accordingly, the President will appeal to the states to also suspend their fuel taxes.

These are often higher than the state ones.

In addition, at a meeting with the energy minister, the major oil companies are to be asked to make proposals on how idle refinery capacities can be started up again.

A suspension of the 18.4 cents per gallon gasoline tax and the 24.4 cents per gallon diesel tax would require congressional approval.

Some of Biden's Democrats fear the tax's suspension will only have a limited impact on prices.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fears oil companies and retailers will pocket much of the savings.

"Federal gasoline tax suspension alone will not solve the problem we face," admitted a second senior government official.

"But it will give families some leeway while we continue to work to bring prices down over the long term."

Potential losses of $10 billion

Biden will propose to Congress to suspend the gas tax until September.

That should mean less revenue of around 10 billion dollars.

The Office of the President assumes that it will be able to compensate for this loss of income.

Some states, like New York and Connecticut, have already suspended state fuel taxes, while others have explored ideas like consumer rebates and direct relief.

In the US, prices at the pump are nearly $5 a gallon as rising demand for fuel coincides with the loss of about a million barrels a day of processing capacity.

Many plants have been shut down over the past three years as fuel demand plummeted at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.