Biden To Release Oil Reserves, A Move Critics Say Is Too Little, Too Late

Casey Harper (The Center Square).

The President Joe Biden stated that 180 million barrels would be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve within the next six month to help stabilize rising costs. But critics wonder if this will make a difference to Americans, who struggle to pay the price of gasoline.

“After consultation with allies and partners, the President will announce the largest release of oil reserves in history, putting one million additional barrels on the market per day on average – every day – for the next six months,” the White House said in a statement. “The scale of this release is unprecedented: the world has never had a release of oil reserves at this 1 million per day rate for this length of time. This record release will provide a historic amount of supply to serve as a bridge until the end of the year when domestic production ramps up.”

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Critics say Biden’s plan is too little, too late. They point to Biden’s domestic energy policies, arguing the president has slowed oil production since taking office and made the U.S. more reliant on foreign sources of oil. Biden was criticised earlier for asking OPEC for more oil in order to lower U.S. oil prices. He halted the construction of Keystone Pipeline, and imposed new regulations.

“Laughably, President Biden is set to announce the release of up to 180 million barrels of oil from our strategic reserves to counter surging energy costs,” said Joel Griffith, a policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But this is under 10 days’ worth of daily US oil use. Meanwhile, this administration’s ‘war on energy’ continues – by including shuttering pipelines, closing off swathes of the nation to drilling, and even threatening oil executives with prison for providing the gasoline American business and families depend on.”

Biden, though, has argued the most recent surge in prices is Russia’s fault. Biden has announced that he will ban Russian oil imports. Russian oil accounts for only a tiny fraction of U.S. crude oil consumption.

According to The White House, the Department of Energy plans to replenish its reserve supply of roughly 600,000,000 barrels in the next years.

“This will provide a signal of future demand and help encourage domestic production today, and will ensure the continued readiness of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to respond to future emergencies,” the White House said. “President Biden is coordinating this action with allies and partners around the world, and other countries are expected to join in this action, bringing the total release to well over an average 1 million barrels per day.”

AAA reports that the average national gas price is now $4.23 per gallon. This represents a significant increase from last year’s $2.73 per gal average.

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Critics argue Biden’s oil reserve plan is a short term solution that will not solve the nation’s bigger energy problems.

“The Biden team is so beholden to the radical green groups they cannot advocate for the only real, long term solution to high energy prices: production increases,” said Daniel Turner, head of Power the Future, an energy workers advocacy group. “Releasing strategic reserves has not done anything the two times Biden already tried it, but he’s doing it again because that’s what you get from someone who has been in DC for six decades: rinse and repeat. To tap into strategic oil reserves to provide economic relief would be like printing money more often to combat inflation. Government created problems by government officials asking for more government. There’s never a vision to find a solution. They’re only bandaids.”

The Center Square permission granted this syndicated version.