(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden’s top economic aide said the administration wants to keep gas prices in “current ranges” this summer while sidestepping questions on whether the administration is considering a fresh release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“This is the time of year when the gasoline mix changes, and so we’re keeping a very close eye on gas prices at the pump and also of course some of the events in the Middle East,” Lael Brainard said Thursday at the Semafor World Economy Summit in Washington. 

The administration wants to “make sure that those gas prices remain in current ranges as we go into the summer driving season,” she added.

Brainard declined to directly answer whether the administration is considering another release from the SPR, and stayed silent on whether the US will add oil sanctions to penalties announced earlier Thursday against Iran in response to Tehran’s missile and drone attack on Israel.

Earlier: US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran Over Israel Drone Barrage

“There are of course things that have been done in the past, and we’ll continue to very closely monitor, make sure gas prices remain affordable for so many American families heading into the summer driving season,” Brainard said, when asked about a potential SPR release.

The comments signal how gas prices are on the White House’s radar ahead of November’s general election rematch between Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump. Polls have shown persistent voter concern about consumer prices and the economy, and a spike in gas prices threatens to hurt Biden at the polls.

The US announced fresh sanctions on Iran earlier Thursday, targeting 16 people and entities including a company that helped make engines for the type of drones used in the attack on Israel.

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