President Biden is having to once again use up some of the country’s emergency oil stock as they are trying to reduce the chances of another gas price spike. This move is going to lead to the petroleum reserve being at the lowest it has been in four decades.
The nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve had 416.4 million barrels by the end of September. This is the lowest level since 1984 and it followed the release of another 6.2 million barrels.
In the past year, Biden has had to use parts of the oil stash four times to help lower the price. In March alone he asked for 180 million barrels of oil to be released.
The releases are set to end this month, but in November the administration is set in releasing an additional 10 million barrels.
This decision was made only hours after OPEC+, the coalition of oil-producing countries, said that they would reduce their oil production by 2 million barrels. This is the first big reduction to have been made in two years. U.S. officials have long been lobbying against this move as they are worried about how this might affect the already high oil prices.
The White House has condemned this move, especially as it could result in gas prices increasing once again ahead of the midterm elections. Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser said in a joint statement that the President found this to be a disappointing and shortsighted decision and that there should not be a reduction in the production quotas during a time when the global economy is struggling for security following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Gas prices hit a record $5.01 per gallon in mid-June, but have now dropped to around $3.86 on average. This means that there has been a 23% decline during the summer period. Still, gas prices are higher by 29% compared to what they were one year ago.