Schumer: Biden should tap oil reserves to lower gas prices

Politics

High gas prices are posted at a full service gas station in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped by 5 cents over the past two weeks, to $3.49 per gallon. The price at the pump is $1.30 higher than a year ago. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday the rise comes as the cost of crude oil and ethanol surges. Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $4.77 per gallon. The lowest average is in Houston, at $2.98 per gallon. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(The Hill) — Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged the Biden administration Sunday to make use of emergency petroleum reserves in an effort to lower gas prices ahead of the holiday season.

“We’re here today because we need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Schumer said during a news conference in New York on Sunday, according to Reuters.

“No industry is spared. But fuel gasoline is the worst of all,” Schumer said of the ongoing supply chain disruptions. “Let’s get the price of gas down right now. And this will do it.”

But analysts have said that making use of the reserves would provide only a short-term solution and wouldn’t increase the country’s production capabilities, Reuters reported.

While Biden has not committed to tapping the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is located in caverns on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has said he’s considering it.

“That’s one of the tools that he has, and he’s certainly looking at that,” Granholm said last weekend on CNN.

Granholm also said that she was hopeful gas prices would not reach an average of $4 per gallon soon, noting that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was “controlling the agenda.”

Last week, average gas prices in the U.S. fell to $3.41 per gallon, down one cent from the previous week but up more than $1 from the same time last year.

The Hill has reached out to Schumer for comment.

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