(Headline USA) President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to two people familiar with the decision.
The announcement could come as soon as Thursday, when the White House says Biden is planning to deliver remarks on his administration’s plans to combat rising gas prices. The duration of the release hasn’t been finalized but could last for several months.
The measure aims to control energy prices that have spiked as the U.S. and allies have imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. However, the price hikes are largely self-wrought due to antagonistic energy policies inflicted by Biden from his very first day in office.
While it remains unclear what impact the move might have on prices at the pump, the massive release could fully deplete the U.S. reserves in less than a week.
The move to use America’s emergency supply under the pretense of a foreign war that the US need not involve itself in (for a country in which powerful Democrats are heavily invested) has further highlighted the administration’s cavalier recklessness when it comes to pursuing the best interest of everyday American citizens.
Former President Donald Trump, who helped to fully replenish the reserve supply that was depleted by his predecessors, slammed the latest move by Biden as he continues to block new domestic energy exploration and development.
“So after 50 years of being virtually empty, I built up our oil reserves during my administration, and low energy prices, to 100% full.,” Trump said in a statement Thursday via his Save America PAC.
“It’s supposed to only be used for large-scale emergency or conflict,” he continued. “Now I see where Biden has just announced he’s going to take what we so carefully and magically built, and what will be a futile attempt to reduce oil and gasoline prices. They will soon bring it down to empty again. It just never ends!”
The Democratic president has seen his popularity sink as inflation reached a 40-year high in February.
The markets reacted quickly to the likely release from the strategic reserve with crude oil prices dropping 6% on Thursday morning to roughly $101 a barrel.
Still, oil is up from roughly $60 a year ago as supplies have not kept up with demand. In addition to his curbs on US energy independence, Biden has alienated America’s oil-rich allies, such as Saudi Arabia, and has instead courted dangerous regimes like Iran and Venezuela, as well as China.
Americans on average use about 21 million barrels of oil daily, with about 40% of the consumption devoted to gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Domestic oil production is equal to more than half of the country’s usage, but due to the Democrat regulations and economic uncertainties, high prices have not led companies to return to their pre-pandemic levels of output. The U.S. is producing on average 11.7 million barrels daily, down from 13 million barrels in early 2020.
The steady release from the reserves would be a meaningful sum and come near to closing the domestic production gap relative to February 2020, before the coronavirus caused a steep decline in oil output.
The Biden administration in November announced the release of 50 million barrels from the strategic reserve in coordination with other countries.
And after the Russia–Ukraine war began, the U.S. and 30 other countries agreed to an additional release of 60 million barrels from reserves, with half of the total coming from the U.S.
According to the Department of Energy, which manages it, more than 568 million barrels of oil were held in the reserve as of March 25.
News of the administration’s planning was first reported by Bloomberg.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press