The Biden administration on Tuesday said it was tapping U.S. oil reserves in an effort to combat high gasoline prices, reported Jeff Stein of The Washington Post. This is the White House’s second move in a week to try to artificially depress rising energy costs to reduce the
political impact of gas prices when millions of Americans are preparing to hit the road for the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas holidays.
The administration said the Department of Energy will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — an emergency pool kept by the United States — in conjunction with similar actions by several other countries.
Mr. Stein reports energy experts have consistently said such a release would do little to lower prices at the pump, the White House said the effort would be undertaken “in parallel” with similar efforts by China, India, Japan, South Korea and Britain. India, for instance, also announced it would release 5 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves.
Last week, the White House called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether oil companies were improperly raising prices in a way that rips off consumers. The oil industry has denied any wrongdoing and said market forces are to blame for the elevated costs at the pump.
This is of course complete nonsense and political persecution of one of our essential industries, because everyone knows Biden has done everything he can to reduce oil production in America and to ensure that producers do not invest in future exploration.
In just one example of Biden’s effort to chill domestic energy production, Saule Omarova, the Communist Biden has chosen to be the comptroller of the currency, was filmed calling coal, oil and gas “troubled industries” in which “a lot of the small players … are going to probably go bankrupt.”
“At least, we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change, right?” she said in the now-viral clip.
Who is the “we” Omarova is talking about? Her fellow travelers in the Biden administration of course.
The average price for a gallon of gas was $3.40 on Tuesday, down a penny from Monday, according to AAA. Costs are even higher in states such as Pennsylvania, California and Nevada. The average price is up two cents per gallon from one month ago but markedly higher than the $2.11 price per gallon one year ago.
Former President Donald Trump was quick to point out the political nature of Biden’s move to tap the strategic petroleum reserve:
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. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else. Now I understand that Joe Biden will be announcing an “attack” on the newly brimming Strategic Oil Reserves so that he could get the close to record-setting high oil prices artificially lowered. 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?
President Trump is right, of course, and as Jinjoo Lee explained in a column for the Wall Street Journal, tapping the SPR would fall outside of the stockpile’s primary intent: an emergency response tool when the U.S. is confronted with an “economically threatening disruption in oil supplies.”
There are only three times in history when the White House directed an emergency drawdown. Two involved serious disruptions to supply as a result of wars: Libya in 2011 and Iraq in 1991. The draw in 2005 followed Hurricane Katrina’s shut-in of around a quarter of U.S. production. Today’s emergency is largely political: Retail gasoline prices are near $3.50 a gallon amid rising demand—a level not seen in at least seven years—as voters complain about the highest inflation in decades.
A release (30 million barrels is the maximum over a 60-day period for anything less than a severe energy supply interruption) won’t do much to help U.S. consumers in the near term, which is when oil markets are expected to experience tightness, wrote Lee. However, it will look like Biden is trying to do something to mitigate the gasoline price hikes he created that are now contributing mightily to his unpopularity.
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Strategic Petroleum Reserve
U.S. oil reserves
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