President Joe Biden plans to tap into the US oil reserves as the cost of fuel continues to soar and Americans feel the squeeze of inflation hitting a 40-year high.
Biden may announce as soon as Thursday that he will order the daily release of up to 1 million barrels from the strategic petroleum reserve in an effort to counter high energy prices, sources told the Associated Press.
The plan was first reported by Bloomberg News.
The president on Thursday is set to discuss his administration’s efforts to tackle fuel prices a day after crude oil traded at almost $105 per barrel – up from $60 a year ago.
At the pumps, the national average per gallon of gas hit $4.33 on March 11, the highest mark since 2008, according to AAA. The average has since come down to $4.24 on Wednesday, as demand drops off likely because high prices have forced consumers to alter their driving habits, AAA said.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ensuing sanctions from the US and its Western allies have been blamed for contributing to ballooning energy costs around the globe, but oil producers haven’t ramped up production as prices have risen.
A Dallas Federal Reserve survey of industry executives showed about 59 percent said pressure from oil company investors was the main reason production hasn’t gone up, the AP reported.
The release of reserves could last months, sources told the AP. The Biden administration agreed to release 50 million barrels from the reserve in November, then agreed to release another 30 million at the start of the Ukraine war in coordination with other nations.
There were still more than 568 million barrels in reserve as of March 25, the AP reported.
With Post wires