Biden Set to Release Oil From the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Domestic oil producers have not increased production as a result of the high prices, so the president is stepping in.
Gas prices in the United States remain high, with the average price hitting $4.23 a gallon on Monday, per GasBuddy. The White House considered, but ultimately rejected, a plan to send “gas cards” to most Americans, concluding that doing so would be unfeasible and a burden on the IRS during tax season. A bill has been introduced in Congress to put in place a gas rebate, and some state governments have pursued more localized measures to help customers out with the high cost of gas.
Now, new reports say the president is considering a big move to help ease the pain at the pump.
According to CNN, the White House is considering a plan to release one million barrels a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would be the largest tapping in history. Biden previously tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in November and early March. The president has the power to tap the reserve without the cooperation of Congress.
Biden is scheduled to address the gas price issue Thursday, and he may announce the Strategic Petroleum Reserve move then, CNN said. Domestic oil producers have not increased production as a result of the high prices and, per the Associated Press, they have been “more focused on meeting the needs of investors.”
According to GasBuddy’s weekly report on Monday, average gas prices were flat from the previous week’s level, which was down from the high of $4.33 earlier this month. That number, though, is up $0.62 from a month earlier and $1.38 per gallon from the same time a year earlier.
“The decline we’ve seen in average gas prices has been slowing down, as oil prices have held above $100 after declining under that level as recently as a few weeks ago. For the near future, we’ll see a mix of slight decreases and some potential increases mixed in. California markets should finally cool off and areas could even move lower in Southern California, while the Great Lakes could see gas prices jump up after having fallen for the last week or so,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in the release.
“While the national average should start to stabilize for the time being, there’s no telling what’s around the corner, at least for now, as the volatility in oil prices persists.”
OPEC+ is set to meet this week, and energy analysts are watching that meeting to see if there is any change in the group’s plans for oil production.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.