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Biden announces the sale of 15,000,000 barrels of reserves of oil

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will authorize the sale of more oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as his administration tries to control high gas prices ahead of the midterm elections.

Biden spoke at the White House and stated that the Energy Department would sell 15 million barrels from the 180 million barrels authorized for sale in March. This move, he said, would lower the cost of gasoline and allow families to have some breathing room.

Biden spoke of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that he had done everything possible to lower gas prices after Putin invades Ukraine.

Biden stated that the administration would adopt a “ready-and-release plan” to allow it to “move fast” to tap into Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the future to “prevent oil price rises and respond to international situations.”

The United States consumes approximately 20 million barrels per day of oil. Many analysts believe that the sale of 15 million more barrels from its oil reserve will have little effect on gas prices.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was established in 1974 as a national safety net for energy after the 1970s oil crisis. It is now at its lowest level since 1984.

Biden acknowledged the depletion of the reserve’s resources and stated that his administration would purchase crude oil to replenish it when prices drop to $70 per barrel.

Biden, who for months has encouraged oil companies to increase oil production, stated that his announcement to replenish the reserve should assure the oil industry that it can “invest to ramp production up now with confidence that we will be able to sell their oil.”

Biden stated, “My message for oil companies is this: You are sitting on record profits and we’re giving more certainty so that you can take immediate action to increase your oil production.”

After reaching an average of $5.02 per gallon last June, gas prices in the United States had been declining. The price of gas has risen in recent weeks, however, after OPEC+ (an alliance of high-oil-producing countries including Russia and Saudi Arabia) announced that it would reduce production by 2,000,000 barrels per day.

The European embargo against Russian oil will put pressure on global energy markets in December. As a response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the West enacted the embargo.

In the November midterm elections, Democrats will fight to keep their narrow majority in the Senate and House of Representatives. Biden’s approval rating hovers at 43%.

When asked by reporters if his actions Wednesday were to support Democrats in the election, Biden replied, “It’s not politically motivated at any time.”

Biden stated that his push for increased U.S. oil production was not contrary to his administration’s goal to shift to green energy to combat climate change.

You can increase oil and natural gas production while moving forward at full speed to accelerate our transition toward clean energy. This will allow us to lower energy costs and increase our national security in a very difficult time,” Biden stated.

Four underground salt caverns are used to store the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s emergency crude oils along the Texas-Lafaya coasts. The four locations held approximately 620 million barrels of crude oil at the end of last year. This is the largest emergency supply anywhere in the world, and enough to meet the U.S. consumption for about one month. There are still about 400 million barrels left of crude oil.

In the event of an energy shortage, the president can direct a drawdown of the entire reserve. However, he or she may also order a drawdown to meet short-term emergencies.

Only three presidents have commanded the sale of oil from the reserve since its inception, while exchanges are more common.

Barack Obama ordered the release of 30,000,000 barrels in 2011, to offset supply disruptions due to Libya’s civil War. George W. Bush released 11,000,000 barrels in 2005 in aid to refiners damaged by Hurricane Katrina. George H.W. In 1991, Bush released 17,000,000 barrels as a response to the Gulf War.

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