Schumer presses Biden to tap oil reserves to lower gas prices

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) urged the Biden administration on Sunday to make use of emergency petroleum reserves in an effort to lower gas prices ahead of the holiday season. 

“We’re here today because we need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Schumer said during a press conference in New York on Sunday, according to Reuters

“No industry is spared. But fuel gasoline is the worst of all,” Schumer said of the ongoing supply chain disruptions. “Let’s get the price of gas down right now. And this will do it.”

But analysts have said that making use of the reserves would provide only a short-term solution and wouldn’t increase the country’s production capabilities, Reuters reported.

While Biden has not committed to tapping the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is located in caverns on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has said he’s considering it. 

“That’s one of the tools that he has, and he’s certainly looking at that,” Granholm said last weekend  on CNN. 

Granholm also said that she was hopeful gas prices would not reach an average of $4 per gallon soon, noting that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was “controlling the agenda.”

Last week, average gas prices in the U.S. fell to $3.41 per gallon, down one cent from the previous week but up more than $1 from the same time last year. 

The Hill has reached out to Schumer for comment. 

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