WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The release of 50 million barrels of oil from the United States’ strategic reserve is expected to cause prices at the pump to drop within the next couple of the weeks.
The average price of gas could decline 10 to 15 cents, experts say, though they note there is no guarantee. The Biden administration, however, is confident in its plan.
“I told you before that we’re going to take action on these problems and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday. “It will not solve the problem of high gas prices overnight. It will make a difference.”
Spurred by a supply shortage linked to the pandemic, gas prices last month reached their highest levels since 2014.
“Oil production is lagging behind,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “The president is ready to use every appropriate tool to ensure that Americans have access to affordable energy today.”
She said the supply problem underscores the need for America to diversify its energy resources.
“Add more clean energy,” she said. “Relying on fuel from countries that may not have our best interests at heart hurts the American people.”
But Republicans say the Biden administration’s energy policies are off base.
“Joe Biden is just clueless,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said.
While he acknowledged releasing the oil will provide temporary relief, he said Biden’s long-term plans are not helping the problem.
“What’ve got to do is we’ve got to figure out how to be energy independent,” he said. “You don’t do it by shutting down pipelines, you don’t do it by shutting down drilling.”
The White House pushed back against such criticism, insisting energy policies inside the Build Back Better social spending plan, which is still being debated in Congress, will bring down gas prices in the long term.