The White House announced on Tuesday that it had ordered 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve to reduce energy costs, in coordination with countries like the United Kingdom, China and Japan.
In a tweet, Joe Biden said: I have worked with countries around the world to address the lack of supply. Thanks to our diplomatic efforts, this step will be taken in parallel with other major energy consuming countries, including China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.
The move is an effort to bring down rising gas prices. Gasoline prices in the United States are on average about $ 3.40 per gallon, more than double their price a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.
In a speech, Biden acknowledged that many Americans are struggling with the rising price of gas. The point is, we always go through these peaks. We were going to get through this one and hopefully faster, Biden said. But that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and wait for prices to come down on their own. Instead, were taking action.
It will take time, but before long you should see gas prices drop where you refuel, Biden said.
The president was quick to reshape much of his economic agenda around the issue of inflation, saying his recently adopted $ 1.2 billion infrastructure package will reduce pricing pressures by making transportation more efficient and cheaper goods.
Republicans hammered the administration so that inflation peaked in 31 years in October. The Consumer Price Index climbed 6.2% from a year ago, the biggest 12-month jump since 1990, and gas prices hit their highest levels since 2014.
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell burst into the White House in a ground speech last week, claiming the victims of the price hike were middle-class Americans.
The top three drivers of the staggering 6.2% inflation rate we recorded last month were housing, transportation and food, the Kentucky senator said. They are not luxuries, they are essentials, and they occupy a much larger share of the budgets of families from the middle class to the bottom.
The Strategic Oil Reserve is an emergency stockpile to preserve access to oil in the event of natural disasters, national security concerns and other events. The global publication would be the first coordinated effort to increase supply since 2011, when the United States and 27 other countries decided to cut supplies lost in the conflict that would become civil war in Libya.
Maintained by the US Department of Energy, the reserves are stored in caves located in salt domes along the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana. There are approximately 605 million barrels of sweet and sour oil on the reserve.
In a statement on Tuesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said: As we emerge from an unprecedented global economic crisis [because of the coronavirus pandemic], oil supply has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price.
This action underscores the President’s commitment to use the tools available to reduce costs for working families and continue our economic recovery.
Biden was due to speak on the matter before leaving Washington for Nantucket on Monday afternoon, the White House said to focus on the economy and lowering prices for the American people.
In a statement, former President Donald Trump claimed credit for filling the reservation and opposed Bidens’ decision.
These reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else, he said.
The US Department of Energy will make the oil available in two ways: 32 million barrels will be released in the next few months and return to the reserve in the years to come, the White House said. An additional 18 million barrels will be part of an oil sale that Congress previously authorized.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday evening that the White House would also keep an eye on oil companies.
We will continue to put pressure on the oil companies that have made record profits and that watch what we see as lower prices there when there is a supply of oil or the price of oil goes down and the price goes down. gas is not going down, Psaki said. .
It doesn’t take an expert in economics to know this is a problem.
Associated Press contributed to this story
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