President Joe Biden has ordered the release of tens of millions of barrels of oil from the strategic reserve in a move to bring down gas prices.  During remarks from the White House on Tuesday, Biden ordered an additional 50 million barrels from the reserve, which is an emergency stockpile of oil stored in underground tanks in the Gulf Coast area, a move he said “will not solve the problem of high gas prices overnight.  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.”  Inflation has pushed up the cost of many goods and services in the United States, particularly gasoline prices, which are presently at their highest prices in years.

The White House said in a statement: “American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills … because oil supply has not kept up with demand as the global economy emerges from the pandemic. That’s why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”

Officials said the additional barrels of oil will be released from the strategic reserve in two ways — 32 million barrels in an exchange over the next few months that will eventually return to the emergency stockpile, and 18 million barrels in an acceleration of sales that Congress previously authorized. Biden described high gas prices as a problem in the United States and throughout the world: “We’re taking action. The big part of the reason Americans are facing high gas prices is because oil producing countries and large companies have not ramped up the supply of oil quickly enough to meet the demand. And the smaller supply means higher prices globally, globally, for oil.”

Editorial credit: Spike Johnson /

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