President Joe Biden ordered 50 million barrels from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve maintained for emergencies released amid high gas prices ahead of the holidays.
According to the Department of Energy, Tuesday’s announcement will coincide with similar decisions from China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom in a collective effort for the first time to bring down rising fuel costs.
“As we come out of an unprecedented global economic shutdown, oil supply has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “This action underscores the President’s commitment to using the tools available to bring down costs for working families and to continue or economic recovery.”
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm throws her head back and laughs when asked if there was a plan to bring gas prices down. pic.twitter.com/9iA3Tzje8C
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) November 5, 2021
Biden’s decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce prices at the pump underscores the desperation of an administration with a failing energy policy dragging down the president’s approval to the lowest levels of his first term. Just more than 41 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s job handling in the RealClear aggregate.
The purpose of the reserve is to maintain a reliable supply of oil in the event of an actual emergency such as a hurricane hampering Gulf Coast refineries, not when prices exceed $80 a barrel which has often happened over the previous decade. The president choosing to release 50 million barrels highlights the irresponsibility of an administration waging a relentless war on fossil fuels, where 11 months ago the White House implemented a suspension on new oil and gas leases on federal land. The suspension was only overturned when a federal judge ruled against the order. A report on the federal oil and gas leasing program repeatedly promised from the Department of Interior by “early summer” remains absent going into winter.
Biden has also hampered domestic oil and gas production by intimidating Wall Street from new investments in the capital-intensive industry, complemented with outright bans on drilling in politically sensitive areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Meanwhile, the official White House line on rising power prices has been to place blame on OPEC nations for their refusal to raise output of the very product Biden has sought to bar Americans from producing themselves.
“Gas prices relate to a foreign policy initiative,” Biden said during a CNN town hall last month. “And that’s because of the supply being withheld by OPEC.”
President Biden says he expects gas prices will stay high until 2022.
— CNN (@CNN) October 22, 2021
If the administration let up on its animosity towards the oil and gas industry at home, however, supply would meet rising post-pandemic demand to the benefit of the American worker.