With the midterm elections fast approaching, President Joe Biden and his administration are scrambling to increase oil supplies and drive down energy prices, potentially tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) yet again.
The White House asserts that the SPR currently has roughly 400 million barrels of oil, according to the Associated Press. The administration is reportedly looking to release between 10-15 million additional barrels, a figure that would not cover a single day of American oil use.
Biden reportedly failed to delay a production cut from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+), which announced earlier this month that it would cut production by 2 million barrels per day, roughly 2% of the global supply. He was previously unsuccessful in negotiating a production boost from the bloc amid the ongoing energy crisis in part caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In the aftermath of the cut, the administration released a further 10 million barrels of oil from the SPR. Biden has, throughout this year tapped the SPR to drive down energy prices, with industry experts criticizing the president for using the SPR “as a campaign credit card to buy down political risk for the midterms.”
Biden, earlier this year, announced he would release 1 million barrels of oil from the reserve per day for six months, an action that, combined with subsequent releases, has seen the SPR plummet to its lowest levels since 1984, per the AP.
Gas prices currently stand at an average $3.87 per gallon nationwide, according to AAA.
The administration pumping millions of gallons of fossil fuels into the U.S. economy stands somewhat at odds with its progressive energy policies and vow to reach zero emissions by 2050, the AP noted.