Biden administration to release 50 million barrels of oil from strategic reserve.
The Department of Energy will release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the White House announced Tuesday, as the Biden administration looks for ways to control rising costs at the pump.
Of the 50 million barrels, 32 million will eventually be returned to the strategic reserve in the next few years once fuel prices drop in an attempt to ensure the reserve remains in storage, authorities said.
Another 18 million barrels will be released as an acceleration of an oil sale that Congress had already authorized.
Tuesday’s announcement was made in concert with China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, which will also tap into their own strategic reserves.
The Biden administration had reportedly discussed the strategic reserve option in recent weeks to increase supply, as consumers faced higher gas prices amid broader concerns about inflation as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Labor Department released statistics earlier this month showing consumer prices grew much faster than expected in October and that annual inflation had reached a 30-year high.
The consumer price index, which tracks inflation for a variety of basic goods and services, rose 0.9 percent last month and 6.2 percent in the 12-month period ending in October. The price increase was largely driven by a 4.8 percent increase in energy costs for the month, including a 1.6 percent increase in gasoline prices.
In a bid to curb gas prices as inflation helped sink poll numbers, Biden last week asked the head of the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether oil companies are raising prices illegally.
Senator John barrassoJohn Anthony Barrasso, the chief of energy information blames the market for high fuel prices. Let’s plan human ingenuity in our fight against climate change. PLUS (R-Wyoming), the senior member of the Senate Energy Committee, said Tuesday that Biden’s own policies were to blame for having to tap into the strategic reserve.
“We are experiencing higher prices because the administration and the Democrats in Congress are waging a war on American energy,” Barrasso said in a statement, arguing that Tuesday’s announcement would not solve the problem on its own.
“Begging OPEC and Russia to increase production and now use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are desperate attempts to tackle a disaster caused by Biden,” Barrasso added. “They are not substitutes for American energy production.”
Congress is negotiating an approximately $ 2 trillion reconciliation package that is the cornerstone of Biden’s agenda and features billions of dollars in investments in programs to combat climate change, with investments in renewable energy, electric cars and more. .
The White House insisted that Tuesday’s announcement was not at odds with Biden’s goals of moving away from fossil fuels in the next few years.
“Today’s announcement reflects the president’s commitment to do everything in his power to reduce costs to the American people and continue our strong economic recovery,” the White House said in a statement.”
At the same time, the Administration remains committed to the president’s ambitious clean energy goals, as reflected in the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Act signed last week and the Better Reconstruction Act passed by the House of Representatives, which together represent the largest investment to combat climate change in America, history and is a critical step in achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels.”