WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is releasing 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices amid a recent spike gas prices and rising inflation, the White House announced Tuesday.
The thirty-two million barrels issued by the Department of Energy will be an exchange over the next several months, oil that will eventually be returned to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for years to come. Another 18 million barrels will be released in the coming months, spurring oil sales that Congress previously authorized.
“US consumers are feeling the effects of increased gas prices at the pump and on their home heating bills, and so are US businesses, as oil supply has not kept pace with demand as the global economy continues to grow,” the White House said. emerges from.” said in a statement early Tuesday.
“So President Biden is using every tool available to him to drive down prices and address the supply crunch.”
The release of oil from the country’s reserves would be taken in parallel with other countries including China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.
Inflation, energy prices continue to rise
Biden is under increasing political pressure to relieve and control high gas prices for Americans inflation, Which reached the highest level of 31 years last month. Republicans have blamed Biden’s policies for the increased cost of consumer goods, including energy prices, while Democrats have pointed to other positive economic indicators, including: like unemployment,
The decision to dip into the country’s strategic reserves comes as gas prices have risen steadily over the past few months from last week’s levels.
Average gas prices fell for the second straight week this week, down 1.9 cents from a week ago, according to fuel-price website GasBuddy. The average price is $3.39 per gallon, according to data GasBuddy compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering more than 150,000 gas stations nationwide.
The national average is 2.8 cents a month ago and $1.30 a gallon more than a year ago. The national average price of diesel rose 0.1 percent last week to $3.63 a gallon.
Biden had called on oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ramp up production to provide some relief to US consumers from high gas prices. But those countries have turned down requests to pump more crude, leaving Biden with few options to lower gas prices.
Biden Federal regulators were called last week to investigate Whether oil and gas companies engage in “illegal conduct” by profiting from skyrocketing high gas prices during the pandemic. He requested an investigation in a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chair Leena Khan, which claimed “increasing evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”
The federal government reported earlier this month that inflation Growth has increased over the past 12 months as the US economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The consumer price index rose 0.9% in October, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said, with prices up 6.2% from a year earlier. This is the biggest 12-month increase since 1990.
Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.