Hoping to Lower Pain at the Pump, White House Says It’s Opening Oil Reserves

Tuesday’s announcement by the Biden administration was that oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be released to lower gas prices in order to help Americans travel more during the holiday season.

President Joe Biden will authorize the release of 50 million barrels of oilIn the hope that an increase in supply will lower gas prices across the country,

The increased demand for travel after the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions has led to an increase in costs. However, oil and gas supplies have not kept up with the increased demand. energy experts have said.

Even though presidents have very little impact on the cost of a gallon of gasBiden has faced sharp criticism from conservatives on fuel prices, with many Republicans wrongly asserting that his energy policies — including the shutting down of the Keystone XL pipeline project earlier this year — contributed to the rise in gas prices over recent months. Experts agree that the Keystone XL closing is not responsible for current gas price trends.

However, polling indicates most Americans blame Biden for the rise in gasoline and other consumer costs.

The Biden administration claims that opening the nation’s strategic oil reserve this week will alleviate those concerns — but experts say that this, too, will have minimal effect.

“American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand as the global economy emerges from the pandemic,” the White House said in a statement. “That’s why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”

Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy, an tech company that aids consumers in finding gas prices for their area, said The Washington Post The impact on pricing will be minimal, if at all.

“The bottom line for motorists is this moves the needle — but barely, and maybe not for a very long period of time,” De Haan said.

There’s also a concern among many that opening the strategic reserves could make other oil-producing countries upset, including nations belonging to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which could reduce supply in response to the White House’s actions.

The move also contradicts Biden’s promise to encourage more use of more renewable energy and reduce dependence on nonrenewable sources. Many Democrats, including those pushing for a transition from oil and gas, applauded Biden’s decision on Tuesday.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D.California), who, along with other Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to the White House yesterdayWhile urging lower oil prices, they stated that ultimately the goal must be to move to renewable resources.

“In the long term, we must invest in renewable energy through the Build Back Better Act,” Khanna said in a tweet Tuesday morning.

According to the Department of Energy, most of the oil being released will be available in the first months of 2022 (January to April). However, some oil deliveries may not be possible. will happen as soon as December.

In recent months, gas prices have risen. up to $3.395 per gallon, on average, across the U.S. as a whole. California has a higher cost per gallon of gas than other states. up to $4.705 per gallon.

However, costs may be falling slightly due to other factors that are not related to the opening strategic oil reserves. Global demand may decrease in the near future due to COVID-related lockdowns in some parts of EuropeThis could help to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of oil.