Biden Tries to Lower Gas Prices in Desperate Attempt to Win Over Voters Before Election

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The Biden administration announced that it would be selling off nearly 1 million barrels of gasoline from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve in an attempt to lower gas prices as the 2024 presidential election looms.

The 42 million gallons of fuel are expected to be delivered to the respective buyers by the end of next month and then distributed to local retailers ahead of July 4th holiday.

Nine hundred ninety-eight thousand eight hundred twenty-four barrels of gasoline will be released from the reserve, which was set up in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, according to the Department of Energy’s Office.

AP News reports: The Energy Department said the sale of 1 million barrels, about 42 million gallons, was timed to provide relief for motorists as the summer driving season begins.

Gasoline prices average about $3.60 per gallon nationwide, up 6 cents from a year ago, according to AAA. Tapping gasoline reserves is one of the few actions a president can take by himself to try to control inflation, an election-year liability for the party in control of the White House.

“The Biden-Harris administration is laser-focused on lowering prices at the pump for American families, especially as drivers hit the road for summer driving season,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

“By strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and Northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said release of gas from the Northeast reserve builds on actions by President Joe Biden “to lower gas and energy costs — including historic releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the largest-ever investment in clean energy.″

Biden significantly drained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, dropping the stockpile to its lowest level since the 1980s.

The election year move helped stabilize gasoline prices that had been rising in the wake of the war in Europe but drew complaints from Republicans that the Democratic president was playing politics with a reserve meant for national emergencies.

The Biden administration has since begun refilling the oil reserve, which had more than 367 million barrels of crude oil as of last week. The total is lower than levels before the Russia-Ukraine war but still the world’s largest emergency crude oil supply.

The Northeast sale will require that the 42-million-gallon reserve is transferred or delivered no later than June 30, the Energy Department said.

Congressional Republicans have long criticized the Northeast reserve, which was established by former President Barack Obama, saying any such stockpile should have been created by Congress. A 2022 report by the Government Accountability Office said the gasoline reserve, which has never been tapped, would provide minimal relief during a severe shortage.

The reserve costs about $19 million a year to maintain.

Patrick De Haan, an analyst for GasBuddy, said sale of the Northeast reserve would have little impact on gasoline prices nationally, although there “may be a slight downward pressure on prices” in the Northeast.

The million-barrel reserve only amounts to about 2.7 hours of total U.S. gasoline consumption, he said.

“As an analyst, this reserve never really made a whole lot of sense to have,” De Haan said in an Associated Press interview. The reserve is very small and must be frequently rotated, “because gasoline has a shelf life,” De Haan said.

“That’s why there’s really no nation that has an emergency stockpile of gasoline” other than the U.S.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve has vastly more quantities of oil needed in an emergency, he said.

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