Energy chief describes oil reserve release as 'bridge' before prices fall

Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmWhite House looks to rein in gas prices ahead of busy travel season Buttigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey Energy chief describes oil reserve release as 'bridge' before prices fall MORE on Tuesday described the administration’s move to release oil from its strategic reserve as a “bridge” until gasoline prices fall on their own.

“What we want to do with today's action is to bridge the gap between the high prices today, try to reduce it as much as we can within our power by increasing the supply that we have access to as we move through and the market then corrects itself and hopefully increases supply from the private sector,” Granholm told reporters on Tuesday.

She cited a projection from the Energy Information Agency that said prices were expected to fall next month to an average of $3.16 per gallon.


Granholm declined to specify how soon prices could drop, but said she hopes that it will happen “over the next few weeks.”

The nation’s top energy official also said that both inside and outside the U.S., companies should produce more oil for the time being.

“We want supply to be increased both inside the United States and around the world so that we can reduce the pressures at the pump,” she said.

But, as the administration has said it hopes to transition to clean energy, Granholm said she wants to see more supply for now, not in the long run.

“The president has been really thoughtful about this. ... He feels so strongly that all Americans are feeling the pinch,” she said.

“Short term, we have to do everything in our power and that's why we have the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but he also feels very strongly that long term, the strategy really is to go clean,” she added.

On Tuesday, the administration announced that it was releasing 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve, as an attempt to alleviate gas prices.