As President Biden’s approval ratings continue to tank, his administration is finally working to alleviate one of the main causes: rising gas prices. President Biden and his staff have repeatedly blamed OPEC members and other foreign nations for the rising gas prices. While OPEC members do have an effect on our oil prices, Biden’s misguided energy and economic policies have also played a big role in pushing Americans’ energy costs higher.
According to individuals with knowledge of the plan, the Biden administration is planning to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in an effort to reduce prices at the pump. The U.S. will be joined in this release by other nations, including China and Japan, in an effort to force OPEC+ and Russia to boost production and slow the rampant rise of gas prices.
Once a president decides to release oil from the reserve, it takes 13 days to reach the U.S. market. The extra supply of oil should temporarily reduce prices at the pump but oil companies would need to boost production for there to be lasting relief.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserves have been held since their construction in 1977. Over the years, presidents have authorized releases for a variety of reasons.
Releasing oil from the reserves — which are stored in a network of salt caverns in Louisiana and Texas and currently total 604 million barrels of crude — is normally done when supplies to refineries are disrupted by events like hurricanes, although presidents in recent years have used those barrels for more mundane reasons to try to keep prices in check.
One person familiar with the White House’s thinking said the administration had not made a final decision to release the oil, and that U.S. officials were hoping the threat of an SPR release would persuade OPEC and Russia to increase their export quotas beyond the recent decision to allow another 400,000 barrels per day to come onto the market.
The Biden administration seems to be finally waking up to the political reality that rampant inflation and rising gas prices are hurting the American public. It’s nice that they are now seriously considering ways to provide relief but instead of a short-term fix, they need to take a fresh look at their overall energy policy and the ways that they have worked to constrict supply of fuels. Finding ways to encourage safe, responsible domestic energy productions is the best way to bring costs down over the long term and can be done in ways that are consistent with improving the environment.