Biden To Tap 180 Million Gallons Of Oil From Strategic Petroleum Reserve To Fight Price Spike
President Joe Biden initiated a release on Thursday of around one million barrels of oil per day from the U.S., strategic petroleum reserve for the next six months in an attempt to combat the nation’s spiking gas prices.
“The bottom line is if we want lower gas prices we need to have more oil supply right now,” the President said. “This is a moment of consequence and peril for the world, and pain at the pump for American families.”
Biden said that the timetable for when prices might start to decrease is unknown, but that prices should go down “fairly significantly.” He predicted that Americans would pay 10 cents to 35 cents less per gallon.
The president blamed Covid-19 and Russian President Vladimir Putin as the two reasons for the price hikes.
“When Covid struck, demand for oil plummeted, so production slowed down worldwide,” he said. “Because of the strength and the speed of our recovery, demand for oil shot back up much faster than the supply. That’s why the cost of gas began to rise last year.”
“One aspect of Putin’s war that affects and has real effects on the American people: Putin’s price hike that Americans and our allies are feeling at the pump. I know how much it hurts,” Biden added. “As you’ve heard me say I grew up in a family, like many of you, where the price of gasoline was discussed at the kitchen table. None of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war.”
There has been some skepticism over Biden’s tactic. Head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, Patrick De Haan, warned that while Biden’s plan might work short-term, there may be consequences to pay.
If anything it could help get us there quicker, but again, likely at the expense of long term stability.
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) March 31, 2022
Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) called the plan a “band-aid on a bullet wound.”
— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) March 31, 2022
Biden also called on Congress to pass legislation to tax oil companies if they are not utilizing wells and land to produce more oil.
“No company should take advantage of a pandemic or Vladimir Putin at the expense of American families,” Biden said. “Production and innovation, that’s what they should do.”