As Fuel Costs Rise Heading into the Winter, Biden May Utilize Strategic Reserves

As the supply chain crisis continues to worsen, Americans can expect to pay higher energy costs in order to maintain heating in the coming winter, says Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, Granholm said “this is going to happen…it will be more expensive this year than last year.”

While Granholm claimed that “we are in a slightly beneficial position…relative to Europe,” she nonetheless admitted that the United States has “the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have, which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires.”

As a result, gas prices have reached record highs all across the country. The national average is currently $3.40 per gallon, with some states such as Nevada, Oregon, and Washington seeing $4 per gallon. One town in California saw a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline reach $7.59 a gallon.

With regard to heating costs, the Energy Information Administration says that the average American household can expect to pay an average of $746 for heating in this winter season, which is 30 percent higher than last year. The retail price of natural gas is expected to reach levels not seen since the winter that marked the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006. This could see households spend 54 percent more on propane, 43 percent more on home heating oil, 30 percent more on natural gas, and 6 percent more on electric heating, all compared to the winter of 2020.

When asked about possible solutions that the Biden Administration may seek to combat the spiking fuel costs, Granholm said that utilizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is “one of the tools that [Biden] has,” and that “he’s certainly looking at that.”

Biden had previously directed Granholm’s Department of Energy to tap into the Strategic Reserve back in September after the damage from Hurricane Ida in the Gulf Coast. But Biden has not yet committed to whether or not he would consider using the reserves to address the ongoing crisis.

Granholm also took time to blame the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), for what she said was too much control over international petroleum supplies.

“Of course, every president is frustrated because they can’t control the price of gasoline, because it’s a global market. You can call upon increased supply, which he has done,” she continued. “And OPEC is, unfortunately, controlling the agenda with respect to oil prices. OPEC is a cartel and it controls over 50 percent of the supply of gasoline.”

Granholm additionally tried to argue that rising fuel costs only further prove that the nation should transition to so-called “green energy” solutions. Pointing to the recently-passed $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, which devotes one-third of its entire cost to “green energy,” Granholm said America should “get off of the volatility associated with fossil fuels and associated with others who don’t have our country’s interests at heart, and invest in moving to clean energy, where we will not have that problem.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 04: U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm speaks to delegates during day five of COP26 at SECC on November 3, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Today COP26 will focus on accelerating the global transition to clean energy. The 2021 climate summit in Glasgow is the 26th "Conference of the Parties" and represents a gathering of all the countries signed on to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement. The aim of this year's conference is to commit countries to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)