Terminal Tweets – POLITICO

With the help of Tanya Snyder, Oriana Pawlyk and Alex Guillén

– Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s canceled flight sparked tweets about flight refunds.

– President Joe Biden and Jeff Bezos argue over gas prices after Biden targets gas stations.

– Red States and Fuel Makers Fight NHTSA’s Fuel Economy Rule, arguing that stricter standards will lead to more expensive vehicles.

IT’S TUESDAY: You’re reading Morning Transportation, your Washington political guide to everything in motion. As always, send tips, reviews, comments and song lyrics to [email protected]. You can find us all on Twitter: @alextdaugherty, @TSnyderDC and @Oriana0214.

“Above the planet on a wing and a prayer / My dirty halo, a vapor trail in the empty air / Through the clouds I see my shadow fly / From the corner of my watery eye.”

FIREWORKS IN FLIGHT: The holiday weekend was, predictably, a mess of travel. More than 1,500 flights were canceled and 17,000 delayed across the country from Friday to Monday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. One of those affected was Buttigieg, who, like many of us, decided his flight issues deserved a few tweets.

BLUE CHECK PRIVILEGES:But Buttigieg’s tweet thread on Saturday wasn’t your typical @Delta meltdown, instead pointing out that stranded passengers are entitled to a cash refund for a canceled flight (although that means you’re responsible for finding another return flight).

“Sometimes an airline will offer you points or miles as compensation, but you are entitled to a cash refund when your flight is cancelled. When deciding whether or not to accept miles, it is useful to know their value, which varies, but is often estimated at 1 to 1.5 cents per mile. Buttigieg tweeted. “For example, my connecting flight was canceled last night. At first the airline was offering 2500 miles which I think is worth around $30. But I requested a refund for the canceled portion instead, and it turned out to be $112.07.

POINT LIMITS: Buttigieg ended his thread with a link to the DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection website. His thread, while helpful advice, will not fix poor airline performance as air travel reaches or exceeds pre-pandemic levels. A reminder: Oriana has great insight into why the federal government can’t do much about your canceled or delayed flight.

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DO IT NOW: While gasoline prices are slightly down from their all-time highs set in mid-June, the holiday weekend has again served as a reminder that a tank of gasoline is significantly more expensive today than a year ago, prompting Biden to attack gas stations on Saturday.

“My message to companies that operate gas stations and set prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril. Reduce the price you charge at the pump to reflect the cost you pay for the product. And do it now,” Biden tweeted.

TWINKIE DOUGH: But retail gas stations don’t reap most of their profits at the pump. The National Association of Convenience Stores estimates that the station makes about 15 cents profit per gallon, with most of the money earned by gas stations coming from sales of food, beverages and other goods inside the store.

Biden’s post prompted a response from Bezos, the latest billionaire to make news with tweets, who accused the White House of a “profound misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”

“Ouch. Inflation is far too big an issue for the White House to continue making statements like this,” Bezos tweeted. profound misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”

STOP DELAYING: White House press secretary Karren Jean-Pierre responded to Bezos, saying that while oil prices are down from their highs in early June, pump prices are not. There is usually a lag in gasoline prices when oil prices begin to decline, as gas station owners typically incur losses when oil prices rise rapidly.

“Oil prices have fallen about $15 over the past month, but pump prices have barely come down,” Jean-Pierre tweeted. “It’s not ‘basic market dynamics.’ It is a market that is failing the American consumer.

Gas prices have fallen over the past two weeks, falling to $4.80 a gallon on average from their record high of $5.02 a gallon on June 14, according to AAA. But that’s only a 4% decrease, and the White House has approved a 90-day federal gas tax holiday in an effort to further cut costs.

CURRENT LAWSUITS: The first lawsuits were filed after last week’s Amtrak crash and derailment in Missouri that killed four and injured dozens. Amtrak and BNSF, which own the tracks where the accident occurred, sued MS Contracting in federal court, alleging that the company and the driver of the truck who was killed in the crash were operating the truck “negligently , recklessness and recklessness”. The suit said the driver did not yield the right of way at the crossing. The truck driver’s widow filed her own lawsuit, alleging negligence by the BNSF and Chariton County, where the collision occurred. The NTSB, which said the train was traveling below the track’s 90mph speed limit at the time of the accident, said it was focusing its investigation on the crossing.

“The BNSF was in fact warned by concerned citizens of the ultra-dangerous nature of the crossing; yet he stood idly by and failed to ensure the crossing was in good repair or had active warnings to prevent this horrific accident,” said the lawsuit, filed in court this week. of Chariton County Circuit.

TRIAL>ARBITRATION: Janet Williams, an Amtrak train passenger, sued Amtrak, BNSF and MS Contracting in federal court on Friday, criticizing the crossing’s design and arguing that the train had too many passengers on board at the time of the accident. But current Amtrak ticket rules prevent victims from suing, instead forcing disputes into arbitration without a judge or jury. There are laws in the House and in the Senate, HR 5751 (117) and Art. 3082 (117)that would prohibit Amtrak from including binding arbitration clauses in its tickets.

STATES, REFINING INDUSTRY PURSUE COFFEE RULE:Red Eleven states and U.S. fuel and petrochemical makers separately sued last week over the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s fuel economy rule for 2024-2026 model year vehicles, Reg. 2127-AM34. “At a time when Americans are already struggling because of Biden’s inept policies and his radical progressive agenda, NHTSA fuel standards will only create more worry and burden consumers of more expensive electric vehicles.” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Joining Texas in the suit are Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina and Utah. Meanwhile, AFPM President and CEO Chet Thompson accused the NHTSA of “flagrantly ignoring the methodology established by Congress for how CAFE standards should be established.” Those two lawsuits were bundled with one earlier filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which argues the agency was too lax.

— “GM outsells Toyota in second quarter as inventory shortages persist.” Reuters.

— “Airport workers got it.” The New York Times.

– “After two years of pandemic, a rebound in summer travel – and chaos.” The Associated Press.

“Is your new car a threat to national security?” ” Cable.

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