NATIONAL NEWS

Biden to release 15M barrels from oil reserve, more possible

Oct 19, 2022, 5:28 AM | Updated: 9:12 am

President Joe Biden speaks at a Democratic National Committee event at the Howard Theatre on Octobe...

President Joe Biden speaks at a Democratic National Committee event at the Howard Theatre on October 18, 2022 in Washington, DC. With three weeks until election day, in his remarks Biden highlighted issues pertaining to women’s reproductive health and promised to codify access to abortion. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve Wednesday as part of a response to recent production cuts announced by OPEC+ nations, and he will say more oil sales are possible this winter, as his administration rushes to be seen as pulling out all the stops ahead of next month’s midterm elections.

Biden will deliver remarks Wednesday to announce the drawdown from the strategic reserve, senior administration officials said Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to outline Biden’s plans. It completes the release of 180 million barrels authorized by Biden in March that was initially supposed to occur over six months. That has sent the strategic reserve to its lowest level since 1984 in what the administration called a “bridge” until domestic production could be increased. The reserve now contains roughly 400 million barrels of oil.

Biden will also open the door to additional releases this winter in an effort to keep prices down. But administration officials would not detail how much the president would be willing to tap, nor how much they want domestic and production to increase by in order to end the drawdown.

Biden will also say that the U.S. government will restock the strategic reserve when oil prices are at or lower than $67 to $72 a barrel, an offer that administration officials argue will increase domestic production by guaranteeing a baseline level of demand. Yet the president is also expected to renew his criticism of the profits reaped by oil companies — repeating a bet made this summer that public condemnation would matter more to these companies than shareholders’ focus on returns.

It marks the continuation of an about-face by Biden, who has tried to move the U.S. past fossil fuels to identify additional sources of energy to satisfy U.S. and global supply as a result of disruptions from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and production cuts announced by the Saudi Arabia-led oil cartel.

The prospective loss of 2 million barrels a day — 2% of global supply — has had the White House saying Saudi Arabia sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin and pledging there will be consequences for supply cuts that could prop up energy prices. The 15 million-barrel release would not cover even one full day’s use of oil in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration.

The administration could make a decision on future releases a month from now, as it requires a month and a half for the government to notify would-be buyers.

Biden still faces political headwinds because of gas prices. AAA reports that gas is averaging $3.87 a gallon. That’s down slightly over the past week, but it’s up from a month ago. The recent increase in prices stalled the momentum that the president and his fellow Democrats had been seeing in the polls ahead of the November elections.

An analysis Monday by ClearView Energy Partners, an independent energy research firm based in Washington, suggested that two states that could decide control of the evenly split Senate — Nevada and Pennsylvania — are sensitive to energy prices. The analysis noted that gas prices over the past month rose above the national average in 18 states, which are home to 29 potentially “at risk” House seats.

Even if voters want cheaper gasoline, expected gains in supply are not materializing because of a weaker global economy. The U.S. government last week revised downward its forecasts, saying that domestic firms would produce 270,000 fewer barrels a day in 2023 than was forecast in September. Global production would be 600,000 barrels a day lower than forecast in September.

The hard math for Biden is that oil production has yet to return to its pre-pandemic level of roughly 13 million barrels a day. It’s about a million barrels a day shy of that level. The oil industry would like the administration to open up more federal lands for drilling, approve pipeline construction and reverse its recent changes to raise corporate taxes. The administration counters that the oil industry is sitting on thousands of unused federal leases and says new permits would take years to produce oil with no impact on current gas prices. Environmental groups, meanwhile, have asked Biden to keep a campaign promise to block new drilling on federal lands.

Biden has resisted the policies favored by U.S. oil producers. Instead, he’s sought to reduce prices by releasing oil from the U.S. reserve, shaming oil companies for their profits and calling on greater production from countries in OPEC+ that have different geopolitical interests, said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute.

“If they continue to offer the same old so-called solutions, they’ll continue to get the same old results,” Macchiarola said.

Because fossil fuels lead to carbon emissions, Biden has sought to move away from them entirely with a commitment to zero emissions by 2050. When discussing that commitment nearly a year ago after the G-20 leading rich and developing nations met in Rome, the president said he still wanted to also lower gas prices because at “$3.35 a gallon, it has profound impact on working-class families just to get back and forth to work.”

Since Biden spoke of the pain of gas at $3.35 a gallon and his hopes to reduce costs, the price has on balance risen another 15.5%.

___

Follow the AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a...

Karen Morfitt, KCNC

Registered sex offender found operating ice cream truck in Denver

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a registered sex offender was operating the neighborhood ice cream truck.

4 minutes ago

Tuesday February 9, 2006. Photo by Scott G. Winterton / Deseret Morning News.The Ten Commandments m...

Sara Cline, Associated Press

New Louisiana law requires that The Ten Commandments must be displayed classrooms

Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

17 minutes ago

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the first named storm of what...

Jaime stengle and Mariana Martinez Barba

Tropical Storm Alberto forms in southwest Gulf, 1st named storm of the hurricane season

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the first named storm of what is forecast to be a busy hurricane season.

3 hours ago

An air tanker soars through a large plume of smoke over and around wildfire-affected areas in the v...

MORGAN LEE Associated Press

At least 1 dead in New Mexico wildfire that forced thousands to flee, governor’s office says

Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled a mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings.

5 hours ago

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 19: People watch a television broadcast reporting a meeting between North...

Kim Tong-Hyung

Russia and North Korea sign partnership deal that appears to be the strongest since the Cold War

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a new partnership that includes a vow of mutual aid if either country faces “aggression.”

5 hours ago

FILE: Members of Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church march to celebrate Juneteenth on J...

Terry Tang

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

Many Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the U.S. learned they were free.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Biden to release 15M barrels from oil reserve, more possible