Biden plans to use oil reserves to control gas prices

U.S. President Joe Biden gestures while commenting on Covid-19 in the United States in the South Court Auditorium on March 30, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the country’s strategic petroleum reserves, according to two people familiar with the decision, to control rising energy prices as the United States and its allies. Has imposed strict sanctions on Russia over its aggression in Ukraine

The announcement could come as early as Thursday, when the White House said Biden was planning to comment on his administration’s plans to combat rising gas prices. The release period has not been finalized but may last several months. People have spoken on condition of anonymity to preview the decision.

Higher oil prices have not indulged in further production, creating a challenge for Biden. The president has seen his popularity plummet as inflation hit a 40-year high in February and oil and gas prices rose after Russia invaded Ukraine. Crude oil traded at 10 105 a barrel on Wednesday, up from about 60 60 a year ago.

Still, oil producers are more focused on meeting investor demand, according to a survey released last week by the Dallas Federal Reserve. About 59% of executives surveyed said they were not pumping more because of pressure from investors to maintain “capital discipline” in high prices, while less than 10% blamed government controls.

A steady release from the reserves would be a meaningful sum and would bring the domestic production gap closer to closing than in February 2020, before a sharp decline in coronavirus oil production.

The Biden administration announced in November the release of 50 million barrels from strategic reserves in coordination with other countries. And since the start of the Ukrainian war, the United States and 30 other countries have agreed to release an additional 60 million barrels of reserves, half of which comes from the United States.

As of March 25, 568 million barrels of oil were kept in reserves, according to the Department of Energy, which manages it.

Bloomberg was the first to publish news of the administration’s plans.

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