President Biden announced the U.S. will release 1 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve every day for the next six months.
The massive scale of the release — 3.6 times greater than any drawdown in the SPR’s 45-year history, according to ClearView Energy Partners — is part of the administration’s effort to push down gasoline prices which rose in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and have remained high with oil companies responding to shareholder pressure.
Biden criticized U.S. oil companies for not increasing extraction over the last month and called for “use it or lose it” penalties for firms that hold drilling permits from which they are not extracting oil, and congressional Democrats are open to the idea. The SPR announcement was joined by the administration’s announcement it would use the Defense Production Act to boost domestic extraction of certain raw materials needed for battery production.
Biden is in the challenging position of trying to alleviate economic pain caused by the economy’s vulnerability to fossil fuel shocks ahead of the midterm elections, while attempting to push forward with a climate agenda despite comprehensive opposition from Republicans in Congress who have ignored climate science and refuse to consider steps to lessen dependence on fossil fuels.
Republished from Nexus Media News, an editorially independent, nonprofit news service covering stories about climate change. It exists to improve public understanding of the climate crisis, shed light on the steps humans can take in response, and highlight the potential opportunities created by a just energy transition.