The Biden administration is currently considering the release of up to 180 million barrels from its federal oil stockpile. Americans are suffering from high gas prices, so the government is now looking for relief via the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
White House Considering Release of 180 Million Barrels From Oil Stockpile
According to sources from President Joe Biden’s administration, the White House is considering releasing up to 180 million barrels from its oil stockpile.
The decision would mark the third time the US will tap into its oil reserves in the last six months.
The 180 million barrels will be the largest release in the SPR’s nearly 50-year history. However, Biden’s previous two SPR releases didn’t help lower gas prices. World demand for oil continues to increase even as oil supplies continue to tighten.
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Oil Prices Still High A Month After Russia Invaded Ukraine
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, already high oil prices began to surge further. When the US and European countries imposed sanctions on Russia, the oil market reacted negatively, leading to even higher prices.
Earlier this month, Brent crude prices shot to $139 per barrel. This is the highest recorded price for a barrel since 2008. Currently, Brent is now trading at $110 a barrel on the world market.
Meanwhile, Biden will deliver remarks this Thursday on how his administration plans to address current high fuel prices.
Despite gas prices going up even before the Ukraine invasion, Biden repeatedly blames Russia for the crisis. The White House said Biden will deliver remarks at 1:30 p.m. ET.
He will discuss “his administration’s actions to reduce the impact of Putin’s price hike on energy prices”. The White House did not give additional details.
US Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency considers the US as a net petroleum exporter. However, its current lower production output will relegate it back to the status of net importer this year.
The federal oil stockpile currently carries 568.3 million barrels. According to the US Energy Department, this is the SPR’s lowest inventory since May 2002.
It remains unclear what the government’s plan is. Will local oil companies later replace the 180 million barrels for release? Or, will the oil stockpile release the crude as outright sales?
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OPEC+ To Meet On Supply
In addition, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) will hold a meeting to discuss the oil supply problem.
Previously, the US, the UK, and other oil-dependent nations urged the group to increase oil production.
Despite the increased demand for oil, experts don’t expect OPEC to boost its output. During the pandemic, oil producing countries suffered losses as the demand for oil dried up during mass shutdowns.
Instead, the group will proceed with its plan to gradually increase production.
High Gas Prices Will Damage Democrats at the Polls
Until they solve the gas prices crisis, Biden and the Democrats will face the wrath of angry voters this November.
High fuel prices are one of the major reasons why Biden is suffering from low approval ratings since last year.
In the upcoming midterm elections this November, the Republican Party may just get enough votes to retake the majority in both House and the Senate.
Watch the PBS NewsHour video reporting on how tapping strategic oil reserves will affect U.S. gas prices, OPEC+:
What do you think Biden will propose to lower gas prices? Or, will he continue insisting that Putin is the reason for high fuel prices?
Let us know what you think about expensive fuel during the time of Biden. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.