President Biden is considering releasing one million barrels of oil per day from US reserves over 180 days, which would be the largest such move in American history. The US uses about 18-20 million barrels per day.
As fuel prices across the country continue to surge, the Biden administration is reportedly taking action by releasing one million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This would add a small amount to the amount of oil in circulation, but would make a dent in the reserves themselves.
On Wednesday, news broke that the Biden administration was considering tapping national oil reserves for the third time in the past six months. In November, 50 million barrels were released.
The 180 million total barrels that would be withdrawn over the next six months are equivalent to what Americans consume in 9 or 10 days. The reserve currently holds 568.3 million barrels.
As Reuters reports, the announcement that the US would be tapping its reserves caused oil prices to drop. In both North America and Europe, futures prices went down by nearly $6 a barrel, to $107.54.
The drop in price is welcome news for consumers, who have been impacted by the highest gas prices since 2008.
In response, Democrats have suggested paying Americans making less than $75,000 an "energy rebate" of $100 per month, plus an extra $100 for each dependent, for the remainder of 2022, so long as the average national gas price is higher than $4 per gallon.
Former president Trump has also spoken out on the issue, slamming the administration for the release.
"So after 50 years of being virtually empty," he said in a statement, "I built up our oil reserves during my administration, and low energy prices, to 100% full. It’s called the Strategic National Reserves, and it hasn’t been full for many decades. In fact, it’s been mostly empty."
"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!"
One of the major causes of rising oil prices in recent weeks has been Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Following the invasion, nations around the world placed sanctions on Russia, the second largest producer of crude oil in the world. Though prices were steadily rising before that.
According to Reuters, sanctions and "reluctance to purchase Russian oil" threaten to remove nearly three million barrels of oil per day off the market beginning in April.
On Thursday, President Biden is slated to deliver remarks regarding "his administration's actions to reduce the impact of Putin's price hike on energy prices and lower gas prices at the pump for American families."
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