The situation with high gasoline prices at U.S. gas stations has become a crisis. President Biden said this Thursday in a brief speech to reporters at the White House on energy issues.
“Remember, we’re the only country that has turned every crisis we’ve ever faced into a crisis of convenience. We have a crisis – high gas station prices,” Biden said, adding that he “knows how painful this is” for ordinary American families.
In this situation, he once again blamed the Russian authorities, who are conducting a military special operation in Ukraine. According to Biden’s version, high gasoline prices in the United States are “because of the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He added that the average price of gasoline in the United States is now about one dollar higher than it was three months ago. According to the president’s version, some American oil companies are taking advantage of the situation.
In this connection, President Biden announced the sale of 1 million barrels of oil per day within six months from the strategic national reserve and also announced plans of some oil companies to increase oil production by 1 million barrels per day. He called these decisions “wartime” actions. Biden said his administration was in talks with other countries that would also sell oil from reserves.
“I have coordinated this sale with allies and partners around the world,” Biden said.
Journalists asked him if the decisions made by the administration would lead to a drop in the price of gasoline for Americans. “It’s hard to say, but it will go down, and it could go down quite a bit,” Biden replied.
The president’s administration has also called for “reducing dependence on fossil fuels” and moving toward a clean energy economy. To that end, Biden exercised his emergency powers under the Defense Production Act and ordered the Pentagon to support the nation’s industries in mining and processing minerals and materials used for high-capacity batteries, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and manganese.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Bill Hagerty criticized Biden’s words and stressed that gasoline prices were unrelated to the Russian operation in Ukraine.
“Biden’s war on American oil and gas has led to an energy crisis. It’s not Putin’s fault. It is Biden’s fault. Mr. President, don’t say you know how painful this is, because it’s not,” Hagerty noted.
U.S. companies have “no barriers” to increasing oil production. The Washington administration estimates that the country is “already approaching record levels” of hydrocarbon production. “Domestic oil production is now expected to increase by 1 million bpd this year and by nearly 700,000 bpd next year,” the document circulated by the White House said. According to the plan of the U.S. authorities, to reduce fuel prices in the country, it is necessary to “immediately increase the supply by doing everything possible to stimulate” an increase of oil production.
The U.S. Department of Energy will use oil revenues from its strategic reserve to buy black gold and replenish it in future years. “This will send an important signal about future demand and help stimulate domestic hydrocarbon production today, as well as ensure that the strategic oil reserve remains ready to respond to future emergencies,” the statement released said.