They were forced to pull the brakes on their latest plan of simply sending Americans gift cards for gas after it was revealed that the ongoing chip shortage would make it nearly impossible.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the Biden administration thought the program had some promise. A deeper dive, however, revealed a number of underlying issues, namely a shortage in the chips that would need to be inserted into each card.
As Forbes reports, production of microchips and semiconductors was hit hard by the pandemic, and has not yet bounced back to prior levels, making it hard for companies and countries around the world to purchase what's needed.
American industries are some of the biggest consumers of chips in the world, making up nearly 50 percent of global sales. On the production side, however, America accounts for only 12 percent.
There has been a push to manufacture more chips in the US, so as to ensure American industry has enough to keep things moving. That is unlikely to happen any time soon, though, rendering the Biden administration's planned gas card program unfeasible.
Aside from the chip shortage, it was noted that, realistically, there would be no way to stop Americans from using their gas cards for other things, as many did with the COVID-19 relief cheques that were intended to be used on essential goods.
According to Gizmodo, this is not the first time the Biden administration has looked into providing gas cards to Americans to offset rising prices. The idea was floated in March, but nixed after they realized the IRS would be in charge of distributing the cards.
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