The Biden administration is considering releasing more crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) after the ongoing plan to sell oil from the emergency stockpile ends in October, Reuters reported Thursday.
The administration may continue to auction off oil barrels from the SPR past October to ward off the threat of increasing oil prices in late 2022, Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Reuters. However, a Department of Energy (DOE) official later stated that the White House was not mulling further SPR sales, according to Reuters and CNN.
Biden’s officials are looking for ways to increase global crude supplies since they concerned that oil prices will rise worldwide once European Union sanctions on Russian oil imports go into effect in December, a move that could exacerbate European fuel shortages, Bloomberg reported.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is continuing to enact Biden’s plan to release an average of 1 million barrels of oil per day for six months, according to a July press release. Biden announced in late March that he would approve SPR sales to bring down gas prices and increase global supply, according to a White House press release.
“They are timing emergency oil releases to the price of gas ahead of the midterms,” Institute For Energy Research Senior Vice President Dan Kish told the Daily Caller News Foundation.”Biden is deliberately selling off our emergency supplies and is doing nothing to replace them.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday touted the administration’s efforts to lower gas prices over the last three months during a press conference. The White House is fixated on lowering gas prices as it believes fuel prices most directly affect voters’ everyday lives and, therefore, their perception of the economy, Politico reported in late May.
“They say he (Biden) is trying to lower gas prices but he has done everything he can to halt domestic energy production,” Kish added. “They are playing with fire because there will be no additional supplies to make up for the SPR losses.”
The Biden administration has leased fewer acres of land for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters than any administration in the last 76 years to phase out the use of fossil fuels and meet its ambitious climate goals.
OPEC and OPEC+, which is led by Russia, agreed Monday to cut oil production beginning in October which may also hike prices that are currently declining due to fears of a global recession, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The White House and DOE did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
This story has been updated to reflect Department of Energy statements that contradict Secretary Granholm’s comments to Reuters. The DOE told multiple outlets it is not considering further SPR releases at this time.
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