Biden Is Releasing 1M Barrels of Oil From Reserve

Administration aims to lower pump prices this summer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2024 1:32 PM CDT
Biden Is Releasing 1M Barrels of Oil From Reserve
"We are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.   (Getty Images/Simpson33)

The Biden administration said Tuesday that it is releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from a Northeast reserve established after Superstorm Sandy in a bid to lower prices at the pump this summer. The sale, from storage sites in New Jersey and Maine, will be allocated in increments of 100,000 barrels at a time. More, from the AP:

  • The approach will create a competitive bidding process that ensures gasoline can flow into local retailers ahead of the July 4 holiday and sold at competitive prices, the Energy Department said. The move is intended to help "lower costs for American families and consumers," the department said in a statement.

  • Gas prices average about $3.60 per gallon nationwide as of Tuesday, up 6 cents from a year ago, according to AAA. Tapping gasoline reserves is one of the few actions a president can take by himself to try to control inflation, an election-year liability for the party in control of the White House.
  • Biden significantly drained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in 2022 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, dropping the stockpile to its lowest level since the 1980s. The move helped stabilize gasoline prices that had been rising in the wake of the war in Europe but drew complaints from Republicans that the Democratic president was playing politics with a reserve meant for national emergencies.
  • The Biden administration has since begun refilling the oil reserve, which had more than 364 million barrels of crude oil as of last month. The total is lower than levels before the Russia-Ukraine war but still the world's largest emergency crude oil supply. The Northeast sale will require that fuel is transferred or delivered no later than June 30, the Energy Department said.
  • In a post on Truth Social, Donald Trump had a one-word comment on the move: "DISGUSTING."

(More strategic petroleum reserve stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.