On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that 15 million more barrels of oil will be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to combat rising gas prices. This move is a part of Biden's plan announced in March to release 180 million barrels in 2022.
Details: The 15 million barrels are expected to be released in December, and more releases will continue throughout the winter, according to NPR.
- This release was announced just two weeks after Saudi Arabia’s Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries sided with Russia, announcing oil production cuts, per Reuters.
Will this actually lower gas prices? The Biden administration says that the release will combat rising prices.
- “Right now, our Strategic Petroleum Reserve has about 400 million barrels of oil — more than enough for any supply emergency,” the White House tweeted. “The Department of Energy will release another 15 million barrels to help bring gas prices down.”
Right now, our Strategic Petroleum Reserve has about 400 million barrels of oil – more than enough for any supply emergency.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 19, 2022
The Department of Energy will release another 15 million barrels to help bring gas prices down.
- Some experts, however, think this is only a small drop in a large bucket, and won’t largely affect fuel prices.
- “We’re talking about fairly small potatoes here with putting 15 million barrels into the market, and I think the market was probably expecting that to happen anyway,” Jay Hakes, the former head of the Energy Information Administration, told NPR. “I think the overall 180 million has been helpful in getting us through a rough patch. This additional enhancement I don’t see moving the needle that much.”
Worth noting: According to Reuters, some Republicans are criticizing Biden’s decision, claiming that it’s just a political move right before the midterms, and won't benefit the country long-term.
- Others are concerned about the impact the release will have on the country’s energy security.
- “Draining oil from Strategic Reserve is a short-sighted and dangerous choice that imperils our energy security at a critical time of global uncertainty,” tweeted Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, followed by a letter addressed to the president.
- “I am calling on President Biden to instead unleash American energy production & support an all-of-the-above energy policy.”
Draining oil from the Strategic Reserve is a short-sighted and dangerous choice that imperils our energy security at a critical time of global uncertainty.— Senator Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) October 19, 2022
I am calling on President Biden to instead unleash American energy production & support an all-of-the-above energy policy. pic.twitter.com/SDDyixFDA6