President Joe Biden is authorizing the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to lower soaring prices Americans are paying at the pumps.
Biden today noted that the administration’s actions “will not solve the problem of high gas prices overnight.”
“It will take time, but before long, you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank,” he said during his remarks. “And in the longer term, we will reduce our reliance on oil as we shift to clean energy.”
Biden is working with India, South Korea, China, and Japan to tap from their resources after OPEC+ nations in the Middle East rebuffed his pleas to pump more oil.
It is a dramatic move that hasn’t been used since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, experts believe it is just a short-term fix to the soaring costs and Republicans said Biden was trying to desperately fix an emergency he has created.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, slammed the move as a ‘Band-Aid for rising gas prices but does not solve for the self-inflicted wound that shortsighted energy policy is having on our nation.’
Biden is taking oil from the reserve, which has 604.5 million total barrels across four sites in Louisiana and Texas, with gas prices at a seven-year-high, inflation hitting historic records and America facing a winter heating crisis.
Oil prices rose towards $81 a barrel this morning after the announcement to try to and cool the market falling short of some expectations.
Americans will likely not see a change in prices at the pump for at least another two weeks.
The average price of gasoline recently breached a seven-year high, and now costs $3.409 per gallon, according to AAA. In California, residents have reported paying up to $4.84 a gallon.
The Consumer Price Index is up 6.2 percent over last year, and rose 0.9 percent in October alone, tanking public trust in the president.
Despite being told the impact may be negligible, the option to release oil reserves remained on the table, given Biden had few others, and officials believed coordinating with other countries could potentially have more of an effect.
One option was increasing domestic oil production, but the White House has been wary of the optics of the President and his aides pushing for more drilling at home on the heels of the major UN climate summit COP26, where Biden promised that the US would “lead by example” on clean energy initiatives.