Biden releases 50M barrels of reserve oil to ease gas costs

Morning In America

(NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden will attempt to lower gasoline prices across the country by tapping the strategic petroleum reserves.

The president announced Tuesday that the Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices for Americans and “address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply.”

Tapping oil reserves is the quickest way to lower gas prices. Experts told NewsNation that tapping the reserves could mean 10 to 30 cents less a gallon at the pump within the next two to three weeks.

“We know that high inflation takes a toll on families, especially those less able to meet the higher cost of essentials,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said.

In the last year, the average price of a gallon of gas has gone up from $2.12 to $3.40 – a 60.3% increase.

It’s one of a few options the administration has to lower prices, in addition to opening up more federal leases for drilling.

Of the 50 million barrels, 32 million will eventually be returned to the strategic reserve over the years ahead once fuel prices come down, the White House said, in a bid to ensure the reserve remains stocked.

An additional 18 million barrels will be released as an acceleration of an oil sale Congress had already authorized.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday described the administration’s move to release oil from its strategic reserve as a “bridge” until gasoline prices fall on their own.

According to a report in The Hill, Granholm told reporters Tuesday that “What we want to do with today’s action is to bridge the gap between the high prices today, try to reduce it as much as we can within our power by increasing the supply that we have access to as we move through and the market then corrects itself and hopefully increases supply from the private sector.”

She cited a projection from the Energy Information Agency that said prices were expected to fall next month to an average of $3.16 per gallon.

The olil release will be taken in parallel with other nations including India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, major energy consumers.

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