On Thursday, the United States Department of Energy announced that it had completed the sale of 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), capping off a total of 180 million barrels released this year to combat rising gas prices.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the contracts for the crude oil were sold to six companies: Shell Trading, Valero Marketing and Supply, Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Supply and Trading LLC, Equinor Marketing and Trading, and Macquarie Commodities Trading US. The oil will be delivered to the companies between December 1st and December 31st.
The price of gasoline in the United States has been rising consistently throughout 2022, primarily as a result of the Biden Administration’s cancelation of all domestic energy production, including halting the sale of any further leases for drilling on federal land, in a bid to force the country towards “green energy” sources.
As a result, gas prices soared to an average of over $5 a gallon nationwide, with some states reaching even higher. Prices rose even higher as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, leaving the international energy market diminished while American dependence on foreign oil grew. Biden announced earlier this year that he would be releasing 180 million of the 402 million total barrels of oil hidden underground in the SPR, which is usually reserved for use in emergencies such as war or an invasion.
Subsequently, the SPR is now at its lowest level since 1984, with many criticizing Biden’s actions as taking advantage of an emergency stockpile purely for political purposes, as the high gas prices caused his approval ratings to drop. But despite his attempts to lower prices with the strategic reserve, prices have nevertheless begun rising again as the 2022 midterms draw closer.