Following the oil crisis, Biden releases oil from the US stockpile.
President Joe Biden stated that oil prices "are not decreasing fast enough." "Families are in pain." (EPA PHOTO)
US President Joe Biden has revealed a plan to sell off the remainder of his release from the nation's emergency oil reserve by the end of the year and begin replenishing the stockpile in an effort to lower gasoline prices ahead of the November 8 midterm elections.
He says 15 million barrels of oil will be supplied from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), as part of a record 180 million-barrel release that began in May, and that the US is ready to tap supplies again early next year to keep prices under control.
Biden's use of the federal government's reserve to control oil price increases and attempts to raise US output demonstrate how the Ukraine crisis and inflation have altered the policies of a president who campaigned on a promise to reduce the country's reliance on the fossil fuel sector.
The White House felt a greater sense of urgency when the Saudi-led OPEC+ irritated Biden by siding with Russia and agreeing to a production limit, causing the president to remark that the US-Saudi relationship needed to be revalued.
"With today's announcement, we're going to continue to stabilize markets and lower prices at a time when other nations' actions have produced such volatility," Biden said at a White House event on Wednesday.
Biden blamed rising crude and gasoline costs on Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, adding that prices had plummeted 30% from their peak earlier this year.
He also urged US energy corporations, gasoline merchants, and refiners to quit using record profits to buy back shares and instead invest in production.
Prices are "not lowering fast enough," he claims. "Families are in pain."
Faced with criticism from Republicans who claim he is using the SPR for political reasons rather than an emergency, the president also stated that the nation's stockpiles will be replenished in the coming years.
He stated that his goal was to refill supplies when US oil was at $US70 per barrel. On Wednesday, the US benchmark was at $US85.
According to Biden, the SPR was more than half filled with more than 400 million barrels of oil, "more than enough for any emergency withdrawal."