Gas prices are at their highest levels in a decade, posing a threat to Joe Biden’s re-election chances. Because of this situation, the White House is reconsidering the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is at its lowest level in 40 years, to address concerns about inflation. The administration aims to ensure that prices go down for American consumers, even if that means using the strategic reserve.
Created in 1974 in response to the Middle East oil embargo crisis, the strategic reserve was designed for emergency situations, not to help an unpopular president seeking reelection. However, the current Democratic Party seems willing to do anything to stay in power. The administration’s plan is to use hundreds of millions of dollars to regularly buy oil and replenish the strategic reserve. This oil will be put on the market at a political time, with the aim of lowering prices and controlling inflation in time for the 2024 elections.
The Department of Energy already bought 2.9 million barrels of oil for the strategic reserve in August and plans to buy another 3.2 million barrels in September. However, purchases scheduled for October and November had to be canceled due to rising prices due to reduced production from Saudi Arabia and Russia.
It is worth mentioning that former President Donald Trump proposed to fill the strategic reserve with $3 billion in March 2020, when the price of oil is $24 per barrel. However, Democrats in Congress blocked the proposal, accusing Trump of bailing out major oil companies.
High gas prices not only affect consumers at the pump, but indirectly contribute to inflation due to the role of crude oil in plastic production and transportation costs. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated that every $10 per barrel increase in crude oil prices translates into a 0.2% increase in inflation and a 0.1% decrease in economic growth.
The Biden administration’s focus on climate policy instead of domestic energy production puts the economy in a difficult position. To meet this challenge, the administration plans to manipulate the global oil market and use taxpayer money to artificially lower prices and delay responding to concerns about inflation. This plan depends on negotiations with countries like Saudi Arabia to make sure they don’t hurt Biden’s re-election chances.
In short, as gas prices continue to rise and inflation becomes a growing concern, the Biden administration has resorted to deception to hide the truth from voters and gain a political victory.