Energy & Environment

Biden administration to release oil from strategic reserve: reports

The Biden administration is expected, alongside several other countries, to release some of the spare oil stored in its strategic reserve, multiple news outlets reported on Monday. 

Bloomberg and Politico both reported that the administration was preparing to release barrels from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with Bloomberg reporting that this could happen as soon as Tuesday. 

Bloomberg reported that the release will happen alongside India, Japan and South Korea. 

The White House, however, said that no decision had been made when reached for comment by The Hill. The Energy Department also did not respond to requests for comment. 

The reports come as the country has struggled for months with high energy prices. Gasoline, which is made from oil, averaged nearly $3.41 per gallon on Monday. 

A major factor in the prices has been a rebound in demand following the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, which has not been matched with a supply return because major oil producing countries have not returned to pre-pandemic production levels. 

The Biden administration has asked a group of oil-producing countries called OPEC+ to add more oil to the market, but the group has rebuffed his requests. 

Other Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), have called on the administration to release oil from the reserve to provide reprieve on the prices. 

Meanwhile, the administration has indicated that it was considering the oil reserve, with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm saying earlier this month that it’s something President Biden is “looking at.”

And the head of the Energy Information Administration — the Energy Department’s statistics agency —  told lawmakers last week that tapping into the reserve could provide some temporary relief amounting to about 5 to 10 cents at the pump. 

Tags Chuck Schumer economy energy prices gas prices Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden Oil reserves OPEC+

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