President Joe Biden announced Wednesday plans to release an additional 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The announcement came weeks after major oil-producing nations part of the OPEC+ cartel announced it would cut production in hopes of forcing oil prices to go up. The 15 million barrels will bring the total amount of oil sold from the Strategic Reserve to 180 million barrels.
"We will continue to stabilize markets and decrease prices at a time when the actions of other countries have caused such volatility," Biden said.
The price of crude oil generally reflects whether the price of gas goes up or down. As the price of a barrel of crude oil sold for $120 in June, gas reached a historically high $5 a gallon throughout the U.S. When crude oil dropped below $80 earlier this fall, the nationwide average of gas fell under $3.70 a gallon.
According to federal statistics, the U.S. produces more oil than any other nation at over 11 million daily barrels. The next largest oil producer is Russia, which has seen its production shunned by western nations following its invasion of Ukraine. The Biden administration has placed much of the blame for rising oil and gas prices on Russia.
With 400 million barrels left in the Strategic Reserve after the Biden administration’s latest drawdown, it will be reduced to its lowest level since the 1980s. In hopes of replenishing the reserve, the White House said it “intends to repurchase crude oil for the SPR when prices are at or below about $67-$72 per barrel.”