President Biden is planning to release another 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to drive down gas prices temporarily.
While the release will take place in December, the announcement seems to be a clear effort to persuade voters that the administration is doing something to give them an assist at the pump.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve now stands at its lowest point in four decades.
The release is little more than the last of the 180 million barrels President Joe Biden authorized the Energy Depart to disburse in March.
Politico reports that White House officials felt the need to make an announcement because “it was not a given” that they would have completed the release of the remaining barrels if the oil market had stabilized.
They also note that the administration is launching an offensive to pressure the oil industry, threatening new regulations and scapegoating oil companies for the higher prices.
It is a campaign designed to “contain the political fallout of rising fuel costs just ahead of the midterms.”
When Pres. Biden took office in Jan. 2021 the Strategic Petroleum Reserve contained 638 million barrels. Jan. 2022 it was still at 590 million barrels. As of Oct. 7 it is 408 million barrels and the administration is considering additional releases. This isn’t sustainable.
— Patrick Fox (@RealCynicalFox) October 19, 2022
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RELATED: Saudis Claim Biden Tried to Delay Oil Production Cut Until AFTER the Election
Saudis Claim Biden Tried to Delay Oil Production Cut Until AFTER the Election
Officials cited in the Politico report are concerned “that fluctuating prices could cause eleventh-hour damage to Democrats’ midterm chances.”
The news that Biden will release 15 million barrels from the oil reserves comes just one week after Saudi Arabia claimed the Biden administration, in an attempt to keep gas prices down, asked for a delay of the kingdom’s oil production cut and the subsequent effects until after the midterm elections.
OPEC announced earlier this month that it was slashing oil production by about two million barrels per day as gas prices remain much higher than when President Biden assumed office.
“The Government of the Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US Administration that all economic analyses indicate that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences,” a statement by an official at the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia reads.
BREAKING: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirms Biden attempted to coerce them to postpone oil cuts until after the midterms, announce they have rejected his quid pro quo pic.twitter.com/MGNRbZVrRk
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 13, 2022
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An Economic Illiterate
Critics have suggested President Biden’s tapping into the oil reserves makes the nation more vulnerable while trying to put a band-aid on the gas crisis in order to reassure the American people leading up to the midterms.
Such a move has prompted Fox News host Jesse Watters to describe Biden as “a reckless economic illiterate.”
“He’s going to cause a lot of pain to the American people because we’re going to need those reserves full at some point,” Watters said.
Indeed, particularly since the administration seems intent on saber-rattling against not just one, but two strategic adversaries; Russia and China.
Even Democrat strategists are admitting the President is timing key economic policies to coincide with the midterm elections.
“There is no question Biden and Democrats are integrating what they can do in the government with their political midterm message,” Mark Penn, a Democratic pollster and strategist, told Fox News.
Obviously a purely political and inappropriate abuse of the strategic oil reserve.
Even more scandalous given Dems bragging about blocking an effort to refill the reserve in 2020: https://t.co/OfFTygXueB https://t.co/OXvsTQKX9K
— AG (@AGHamilton29) October 19, 2022
Senator Tom Cotton slammed the administration over the oil reserves move.
“We don’t have the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to float Joe Biden’s terrible poll numbers and try to help the Democrats limp into a midterm election,” he said.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the release “pure politics.”
“It’s frankly kind of sick to think they would do this,” Pompeo said, “three weeks out from the election.”
Draining our emergency supplies puts our national security at risk. All so Biden can aid Democrats in the upcoming elections.
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This story originally Appeared on ThePoliticalinsider