President Joe Biden is considering releasing 1 million barrels of oil per day from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) for up to six months as the price of gas continues to soar across the nation, according to a new report.
“The plan under consideration would release around 1 million barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the coming months, a person familiar with the deliberations says,” CNN reported. “The release plan could last as long as six months, the person said, though the duration was still being finalized. That would amount to 180 million barrels of oil.”
Back in November, Biden released about 60 million barrels, the largest release from the reserve in history, he said at the time, and released another 30 million barrels earlier this month.
But a million barrels a day is a drop in the bucket. The U.S. Energy Information reported that, “In 2020, the United States consumed an average of about 18.19 million barrels of petroleum per day, or a total of about 6.66 billion barrels of petroleum” over the full year.
At the time, Biden said 32 million barrels “will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead,” with the other 18 million authorized for sale via Congress. That means the total amount of oil tapped will be just over 2.5 days worth.
Tapping the reserve doesn’t solve the production problem or lower prices for long, either. “Analysts have warned an SPR release would only produce a short-term effect in the market, as it would not increase U.S. production capacity,” Reuters wrote.
Back in November, a gas website noted that stocks were dwindling. “According to data from the Energy Information Administration last week, U.S. crude oil inventories fell 2.1 million barrels and stand 7% below the five year average for this time of year, while domestic crude oil production also saw a slight drop to 11.4 million barrels per day,” GasBuddy reported.
“Gasoline inventories fell by a slight 700,000 barrels and stand 4% below the five year average range, while distillate inventories also declined by 800,000 barrels and stand 5% below the five year average range. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail gasoline demand, fell 18,000bpd to 9.24 million barrels per day. Refinery utilization continued to rally, posting a rise of 1.2 percentage points to 87.9% nationally,” the website added.
Biden’s predecessor criticized the move.
“So after 50 years of being virtually empty, I built up our oil reserves during my administration, and low energy prices, to 100% full,” former President Donald Trump said. “It’s called the Strategic National Reserves, and it hasn’t been full for many decades. In fact, it’s been mostly empty.”
“It’s supposed to only be used for large-scale emergency or conflict. Now I see where Biden has just announced he’s going to take what we so carefully and magically built, and what will be a futile attempt to reduce oil and gasoline prices. They will soon bring it down to empty again. It just never ends!” Trump said in a statement.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.
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