The Free Press has noted this before, but it seems so appropriate. As former President Barack Obama once said of his No. 2, Joe Biden, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f–k things up.”
This time, it’s now President Biden’s attempt to reverse the inflation he helped unleash in the oil markets and the price of gas. And it went just about like everything else Biden has touched so far.
In this case, Biden has tried to combat upwardly spiraling gas prices by flooding the market. In May, for example, the Energy Department noted that Biden has approved the sale of at least 180 million barrels of oil from America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve – a reservoir the nation filled in the 1970s to tap in case of global supply shortages.
Biden said back in April his idea was 1 million barrels a day over a six-month period.
On Tuesday, Reuters reported, “More than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency oil reserves release aimed at lowering domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices touched record highs.”
The news service reported that those barrels went to Italy, the Netherlands, India and eleven China. And more is expected to be shipped this month.
The Washington Times noted on Wednesday that Biden has planned to release overall up to 260 million barrels of oil from the SPR between October 2021 through October 2022.
That timing is significant because Biden has claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is to blame for spiraling energy prices – even though Biden began draining the SPR four months before Putin struck his Ukrainian neighbors.
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The Times pointed out that by the time Biden is done, barring any changes, the SPR will hold less than 400 million barrels, the lowest amount since 1984.
Meanwhile, the average price for a gallon of regular gas was $4.78 on Wednesday, according to AAA. That’s down 24 cents since the national average price of gas hit a record $5.02 on June 14.
Still, gas went for $3.13 a gallon a year ago, AAA reported
And it sold for $2.38 a gallon on Jan. 19, 2021, which was former President DOnald Trump’s last full day in office.
Matt Smith, an oil industry analyst, told Reuters, “Crude and fuel prices would likely be higher if (the SPR releases) hadn’t happened, but at the same time, it isn’t really having the effect that was assumed.”