The White House announced Tuesday morning President Joe Biden plans to tap the strategic oil reserve as gas prices across the country continue to surge.
"Today, the President is announcing that the Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices for Americans and address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply," the White House released in a statement. "The U.S. Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in two ways: 32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead. The exchange is a tool matched to today's specific economic environment, where markets expect future oil prices to be lower than they are today, and helps provide relief to Americans immediately and bridge to that period of expected lower oil prices. The exchange also automatically provides for re-stocking of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over time to meet future needs. 18 million barrels will be an acceleration into the next several months of a sale of oil that Congress had previously authorized."
As a reminder, President Joe Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline within hours of his inauguration in January. He also halted oil and gas leases on federal land.
Former President Donald Trump is slamming the move and reminding Americans the reserve is for emergencies and war, not a self-inflicted energy crisis.
"For decades our Country's very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else," Trump released in a statement. "Now I understand that Joe Biden will be announcing an 'attack' on the newly brimming Strategic Oil Reserves so that he could get the close to record-setting high oil prices artificially lowered. We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?"
During President Trump's term, the United States became energy independent and a net exporter. For months and to no avail, President Joe Biden has been begging OPEC to pump more oil.