In this situation, the U.S. president once again accused the Russian authorities who are conducting a military special operation in Ukraine.
The situation with high gasoline prices at American gas stations has become a crisis. This was stated on Thursday by U.S. President Joe Biden, speaking to reporters at the White House with a brief speech on energy issues.
“Remember, we are the only country that has turned every crisis we have ever faced into an opportunity. We have a crisis – [high] gas station prices,” the head of state noted, adding that he “knows how painful it is” for ordinary American families.
In this situation, he once again accused the Russian authorities, who are conducting a military special operation in Ukraine. According to the head of state, high gasoline prices in the United States are “due to the actions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, insufficient supply.” He added that the average price of gasoline in the United States is now about one dollar higher than three months ago. According to the president, some American oil companies are using the situation to their advantage.
In this regard, the head of the Washington administration announced the sale of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic national reserve for six months, as well as the plans of a number of oil companies to increase oil production by 1 million barrels per day. He called these decisions “wartime” actions. Biden said that his administration is negotiating with other countries that will also sell black gold from reserves. “I have coordinated this sale with allies and partners around the world,” the president said. Journalists asked him whether the decisions taken by the administration will lead to a drop in gasoline prices for Americans. “It’s hard to say, but it will decrease and may decrease quite significantly,” the head of state replied.
Biden also called for “reducing dependence on fossil fuels” and moving to an economy based on the use of environmentally friendly energy carriers. In this regard, he used his extraordinary powers under the Law on Defense Production and obliged the Pentagon to support the country’s enterprises in the extraction and processing of minerals and materials used for high-capacity batteries, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and manganese.
At the same time, Republican Senator Bill Hagerty (from Tennessee) on Thursday criticized Biden’s words on Twitter and stressed that gasoline prices are not related to the Russian operation in Ukraine. “Biden’s war against American oil and gas has led to an energy crisis. Putin is not to blame for this. It’s Biden’s fault. Mr. President, don’t say that you know how painful it is, because it’s not,” the legislator said.
Decisions of the administration
As the White House stressed on Thursday, American companies have “no barriers” to increasing oil production. According to the Washington administration, the country is “already approaching record levels” of hydrocarbon production. “Currently, domestic oil production is expected to increase by 1 million barrels per day this year and by almost 700 thousand barrels per day next year,” the document distributed by the White House says. According to the plan of the U.S. authorities, in order to reduce fuel prices in the country, it is necessary to “immediately increase supply, doing everything possible now to stimulate” the increase in oil production.
The U.S. Department of Energy will use the proceeds from the sale of oil from its strategic reserve to buy black gold and replenish it in the coming years. “This will serve as an important signal about future demand and will help stimulate domestic production [of hydrocarbons] today, as well as ensure the continued readiness of the strategic oil reserve to respond to future emergencies,” the statement said.