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Biden Eyes SPR Release to Curb Gas Prices

Biden Eyes SPR Release to Curb Gas Prices

Jun 17, 2024

Biden Eyes SPR Release to Curb Gas Prices

In the face of rising fuel costs and ongoing inflation, President Joe Biden and his administration have indicated readiness to release more oil from the United States' Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to suppress gas prices, particularly during the upcoming summer season.

According to the Financial Times, Amos Hochstein, President Biden's top energy adviser, stated that fuel prices are "still too high for many Americans" and expressed the desire to see them reduced further. "We will do everything we can to make sure that the market is supplied well enough to ensure as low price as possible for American consumers," Hochstein said. His comments suggest that the administration is prepared to tap into the SPR if necessary to prevent a surge in petrol prices.

The Washington Examiner reported that after the release of one million barrels of gasoline from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve just before Memorial Day, gas prices saw a significant drop from $3.598 per gallon on May 21 to $3.447 by June 16.

The SPR, established nearly 50 years ago, serves as a buffer against oil price spikes due to supply disruptions. Biden has utilized the SPR more than any former president, with releases in late 2021 and 2022 in response to the rise in petrol prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Biden administration has been gradually refilling the SPR, arguing that it has been done at a good rate of return for taxpayers.

However, not everyone is pleased with the administration's approach to managing the SPR. Senior Republican politicians have expressed concern over the use of the SPR, describing Biden's release of oil in 2022 as "a transparent attempt to influence the midterm elections." In a letter to Energy Secretary Granholm, they urged the administration to refrain from "political abuse and misuse" of the reserve.

With the November election approaching, the administration's management of the SPR and its impact on petrol prices will likely remain a focal point of both policy and political debate.

Financial Times Article

Washington Examiner Article


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