President Joe Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) on Tuesday in an effort to combat rising prices at the pumps, but nearly a third of it is reportedly earmarked to supply foreign countries, leaving the US with less than two days worth of gas.
“Our combined actions will not solve the problem of high gas prices overnight,” Biden announced on Tuesday. “It will make a difference. It will take time, but before long, you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank and in the longer term we will reduce our reliance on oil as we shift to clean energy.”
In a coordinated effort with India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, the United States will release 50 million barrels from the SPR, a supply of oil stockpiled for national emergencies, in an attempt to lower oil prices which are double what they were last year.
“The President stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic,” the White House remarked on Tuesday.
32 million barrels will be loaned out to oil companies, and are to be repaid with their own barrels in the future, while 18 million are allegedly slated to be sold off to China and India.
“As we come out of an unprecedented global economic shutdown, oil supply has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm during a White House briefing on Tuesday.
When a reporter asked how many barrels of oil the U.S. consumed a day, Granholm couldn’t answer, but the reporter replied that at the 2020 average daily consumption of 18.19 million barrels a day, and the administration was releasing “less than three days worth of supply from the Petroleum Reserve.”
With 18 million barrels intended to be sold to foreign countries, the remaining 32 million barrels of oil will only keep America driving for less than two days. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) was quick to criticize the Biden administration for their decision.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant for supplying energy during national emergencies,” he said. “The only national emergency is President Biden’s awful energy policy in which he has purposefully curtailed American production and then embarrassingly pleaded OPEC to make up the difference.”