Biden releases oil reserves to address rising gas prices

Bryan Mound Storage Site
The Bryan Mound storage site is located in Brazoria County, Texas, approximately three miles southwest of Freeport, Texas. The site was acquired in April 1977 and became operational in 1986. Bryan Mound currently has 19 storage caverns, an authorized storage capacity of 247.1 million barrels and a cavern inventory of 230.1 million barrels. (Photo: U.S. Department of Energy, Public Domain)

By , The Center Square

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday his administration will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help address skyrocketing energy costs.

The announcement is part of a joint plan with China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, and it comes as gas prices in the U.S. have risen about $1.20 a gallon in the past year.

The White House said “32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead.”

Biden released the reserves as his job approval numbers continue to decline and Americans become increasingly concerned about the economy. He made the announcement alongside news that he will seek reelection in 2024.

Former President Donald Trump, who may face off against Biden in that election, blasted Biden after the news and took credit for the oil reserves, saying he is responsible for “filling them up” in the first place.

“For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up,” Trump said in a statement. “I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. … We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?”

 

The Center Square is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on state- and local-level government and economic reporting.