WASHINGTON – President Biden took action Wednesday to ease the pain at the pump announcing the release of 15 million barrels of crude oil from the nation’s emergency stockpile to help drop gas prices just three weeks away from mid-term elections.
“Look for further releases in the months ahead if needed, we are calling it a ready-and-release plan,” said Biden.
It is a plan that South Florida representative Mario Diaz Balart called “an immense risk to our national security.”
The White House pushed back at Republican critics after calling curbing gas prices in the lead-up to the midterm elections politically motivated.
“It’s not politically motivated at all,” said Biden.
“It’s because Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia is a major oil producer,” he said.
Russia is also a part of OPEC+ (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus) which announced plans to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day to drive up prices after the cost of crude fell roughly to $80 dollars a barrel two weeks ago.
The OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries decided to sharply cut production to support sagging oil prices, a move that could deal the struggling global economy another blow and raise the pump prices from U.S. drivers as Election Day draws closer.
The latest move by Biden brings the total release from the strategic stockpile to 180 million barrels but said the country still has more than 400 million barrels in reserve.
“That’s more than enough for any emergency drawdown,” said Biden.