In order to try to reduce and stabilize the skyrocketing prices per barrel of oil and at the pump per gallon of refined gasoline, President Joe Biden announced in March a controversial plan to steadily release one million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over a six-month period.
Now, however, with gas and oil prices still elevated, Biden has announced yet another drawdown from the Strategic Reserve of another 15 million barrels of oil — which just so happens to coincide with the imminent midterm elections in just a few weeks, Breitbart reported.
Aside from having the appearance of being a political decision — artificially reducing gas prices temporarily right before the elections — Biden’s move also threatens national security by further depleting the reserve that is supposed to only be utilized in the case of a dire national emergency.
Drawdown of Strategic Reserve to continue through December
CNBC reported Tuesday that President Biden would announce the additional tapping of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a sort of extension into December of the prior drawdown that began in March and was initially slated to conclude in October.
The idea behind this additional release is to help stabilize the oil market ahead of the implementation in early December of a European Union embargo against Russian-produced gas and oil, not to mention the recently announced decision of OPEC+ to reduce its own production of oil, both of which will inevitably drive up the prices of oil and gasoline.
The outlet noted that the Biden administration has already released around 165 million barrels of oil from the reserve so far this year — slightly less than the estimated 180 million barrels when the drawdown plan was first announced in March.
Biden announces release of 15 million more barrels
As had been previewed, President Biden did indeed deliver remarks Wednesday in which he announced his decision for the Department of Energy to release another 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“And I’ve told my team behind me here to be prepared to look further — look for further releases in the months ahead if needed. We’re calling it a ‘Ready and Release’ plan. This allows us to move quickly to prevent oil price spikes and respond to international events,” Biden said.
The president also revealed an unspecified plan to purchase oil to refill the reserve in the future at a price per barrel of $70 — if and when prices ever fall that low again — and reiterated his tired and misleading attacks and accusations against oil companies and gas stations of price gouging and profiteering, all while ignoring the negative impact his own policies and regulations have had on domestic oil production and refining.
Reserve at lowest level since 1984
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that since President Biden first took office, he has already released more than 200 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, about 30 percent of what the reserve held when he was inaugurated, bringing that reserve down to its lowest level since 1984, shortly after it was first created and was still being stockpiled initially.
Given that the reserve was intended to only be used for dire national emergencies — not stabilizing the global market or artificially reducing prices right before an election — Biden’s siphoning of the reserve has placed the nation at greater risk if and when an actual national emergency occurs, and could leave desperate Americans facing shortages and even higher prices at a time of peril.
Despite Biden’s protests to the contrary, his depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to impact pricing appears to be highly political with an intent to bolster approval of himself and his fellow Democrats, and that is both intolerable and unacceptable.