December 7, 2021
Biden faces pressure to tap strategic oil supply as gas prices soar

Biden faces pressure to tap strategic oil supply as gas prices soar

President Biden is beneath rising pressure from Congress to tap into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to quell hovering gas prices forward of the vacation season. 

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer turned the most recent voice this weekend to urge Biden to entry the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil – which shops roughly 620 million barrels of assorted grades in 4 areas in Texas and Louisiana – in hopes of decreasing the value on the pump. 

“We need immediate relief at the gas pump, and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, mentioned at a information convention on Sunday. “No industry is spared. But fuel gasoline is the worst of all. Let’s get the price of gas down right now. And this will do it.”

A gallon of gas, on common, was $3.41 nationwide on Tuesday, in accordance to AAA – up from $2.11 a 12 months in the past. 

Schumer joins a refrain of Democrats who’ve referred to as upon the president to launch barrels from the nation’s stockpile. In a letter addressed to Biden final week, 11 Senate Democrats requested the White Home to make use of the petroleum reserve, warning the seven-year excessive in gas prices has “placed an undue burden on families and small businesses trying to make ends meet.”

“In light of these pressing concerns, we ask that you consider all tools available at your disposal to lower US gasoline prices. This includes a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a ban on crude oil exports,” the letter mentioned. 

It was signed by Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Tina Smith of New Mexico, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Proponents of releasing barrels from the emergency stockpile say that doing so would improve oil provides and cut back prices on the pump, whereas additionally producing billions in income for the federal authorities. Nonetheless, critics say that releasing emergency provides is a short-term repair to an issue and doesn’t really improve the nation’s oil-production capabilities. 

Vitality Secretary Jennifer Granholm has confirmed that such a launch is one measure the administration is contemplating taking to ease rising prices, together with asking oil-producing nations which can be a part of OPEC to think about growing the supply. Oil prices have hit greater than $80 a barrel, pushing the price of gasoline increased for shoppers.

“It’s a tool that’s under consideration,” Granholm mentioned in October.

Established after a 1973-74 oil embargo by Arab members of OPEC, the reserve has been used in a number of emergencies, together with in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina made landfall and destroyed swaths of the Gulf of Mexico oil infrastructure. On the time, the Bush administration licensed the discharge of 20.8 million barrels of crude oil to U.S. producers. 

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