Biden Uses Emergency Stockpile of 1 Million Oil Barrells Prior to 4th of July to Control Gas Prices

The incumbent administration made the strategic decision to offload a massive one million barrels of gasoline from our critical emergency reserves to reduce gas prices just before the long-awaited holiday weekend. The Department of Energy, the body tasked with overseeing our country’s energy resources, has revealed that five contracts were awarded to several energy firms. These companies have been granted permission to purchase barrels that the Biden-led team is now liberating from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve; this reserve is a component of the much larger federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve system. The primary motivation behind these well-timed releases is an attempt to bring down gas prices right before the Fourth of July festive break.

Our leaders are certainly trying to appease the consumers with lowered prices as the summer driving season picks up. Under the leadership of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the Department has strategized the release of these reserve supplies specifically before the nation celebrates Independence Day. Its pure intent is to ensure an adequate flow of gas supply for the hardworking Northeast citizens at a crucial, high-demand time.

Following the announcement of the intention to trigger releases from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve, the DOE was met with active responses from the business front. A total of five firms put forth 19 proposals to the energy authority after learning about this lucrative opportunity, and it seems each of them got favorable responses; indeed, all five were awarded contracts.

The strategic decision to release gas reserves has significant implications for the general public. The Department mentions that the barrels are being sold at an impressively average price of $2.34 per gallon, giving the consumer a clear monetary benefit ahead of the holidays.

According to a DOE representative, it was Congress, through the 2024 Consolidated Appropriations Act, that necessitated the complete sale and subsequent closure of such a reserve. This step may be seen as part of broader administrative responses to price management, especially in the energy sector.

The DOE’s actions aim principally to assuage price pressure in several states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Each of these states stands to benefit directly from the current administration’s strategy.

Among all these states, it is New Hampshire that currently boasts the lowest average per-gallon gas price, sitting at a cool $3.38, according to AAA’s data. The move by the DOE is expected to provide a much-needed relief to consumers in this region.

This is not the maiden move by the Biden administration to use its energy reserves for addressing short-term gas price concerns. Previously, the administration has turned to the same reserves in order to alleviate financial pressures that high gas prices pose for the general public.

During 2021 and 2022, lofty gas prices threatened to become a weak point for the current political incumbents. Fearful of casting a cloud over President Biden and Democrats’ chances in the upcoming midterm elections, the administration gave an authoritative nod to release approximately 180 million barrels of oil into the open market.

In a bid to plug the financial hole, a significant proportion of this oil trove found willing buyers in Chinese entities, who purchased several million barrels. This incident underscores the commercial diplomacy and bilateral trade aspects under the Biden leadership.

Now, these massive strategic releases have left the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at some of the lowest recorded levels in nearly four decades, as per the data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This paints a stark picture of depletion that needs immediate attention.

On the brighter side, the Department of Energy is proactive in its approach to counterbalance the reserve depletion. Post the mass release of oil, the DOE has been making concentrated efforts to replenish the depleting reserve.

However, the ambitious plans for restocking are not without their challenges, particularly as they align with current market conditions. Oil prices have periodically risen beyond the price point targeted by the administration, making the restocking process a bit more complicated.

The act of releasing reserves helps consumers in the short term but is a double-edged sword of balancing immediate benefits with future security. Although it is commendable that our leaders are diligently working to facilitate affordable gas costs, one can’t help but notice these are temporary measures.

Well, we can only hope that these decisions can stand the test of time and don’t impact long-term energy security, and the budget for refilling these reserves doesn’t overwhelm the fiscal purse. Only time will determine whether or not this strategy to win over the public ahead of the holiday season was all worth it in the grand scheme of things.

Biden Uses Emergency Stockpile of 1 Million Oil Barrells Prior to 4th of July to Control Gas Prices appeared first on Real News Now.

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