Faced with high gasoline prices, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged the Biden administration to sell the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This temporary measure does not address the lack of price controls.
“We’re here today because we need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Schumer said at a conference, according to Reuters, Nov. 14.
Eleven Democratic senators made a similar request last week. The SPR amounts to 612 million barrels and should be mainly used for emergencies such as hurricanes or similar cases.
For her part, author Jessica Resnick-ault notes, “Analysts have warned an SPR release would only produce a short-term effect in the market, as it would not increase U.S. production capacity.”
Notably, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in California averaged $4.68 a gallon on Nov. 15, surpassing the previous record of $4.67 set in October 2012. In some places, it even reached $7.50 per gallon.
In this context, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) estimated that the upcoming Thanksgiving would be the most expensive in history with those prices.
“There’s nothing that’s becoming more expensive than gasoline today. And it doesn’t have to be the case. When gasoline becomes more expensive, the people that it truly hurts are those that are less fortunate, those that have less money,” McCarthy considered last month.
He added: “It literally takes food away from their children. As we look to Thanksgiving coming up, it’s going to be the most expensive Thanksgiving in history for Americans. But the real challenge is happening here. It’s the policies of this new administration.”
On the other hand, the Biden administration is in a bind. Although it promised to reduce carbon emissions and move the United States toward lower-carbon energy production, the current crisis makes it more difficult to meet those aspirations.
One of the resources used by Biden to reduce fuel prices was to ask OPEC to increase production, contrary to its policy of reducing emissions, which caused strong criticism and accusations of hypocrisy.
One of the first executive orders Biden signed killed the Keystone XL pipeline and the thousands of jobs it could have offered to Americans.
On the other hand, the Energy Information Administration forecasts that the United States will increase coal consumption by 20% over last year, which in no way pleases climate activists.
Another circumstance is rising inflation, making plans to establish renewable energy sources more expensive, given the unexpected increase in the costs of the materials and components involved. At 6.2%, the inflation rate is at its highest level in more than 30 years.
The energy crisis does not go unnoticed by Internet users, who express their comments through social networks, as Twitter user @l78lancer does.
“The price of fuel is one of the drivers of the price of everything else that goes to market. So, while the public complains about gasoline prices, maybe we ought to be complaining about the Green New Deal that would help to push us toward energy independence being stalled out?” he questioned.
Likewise, user @grumblecore highlights that the situation is making citizens angry.
“Biden has almost no power over the price of gasoline, nor shipping delays & shortages caused by so many people trying to buy stuff & get it delivered via #pandemic-battered transportation systems. People are angry that their old “normal” won’t be returningl” will not return.”