WASHINGTON — President Biden will release oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Preserve as Americans face rising gas prices amid a jump in inflation ahead of the holiday season, according to senior administration officials.
The administration will tap into 50 million barrels of the crude oil in a coordinated release of oil reserves with Britain, China, India, Japan and Korea in an effort to combat soaring global prices on oil.
The Department of Energy’s release of the reserves, which is set to be announced Mr. Biden on Tuesday afternoon, is meant to address fluctuations in supply and demand for oil, administration officials said.
Demand for oil fell precipitously in the early months of the pandemic, so the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil-producing nations cut production. In the United States, reduced demand led to a substantial decline in drilling; the country’s oil rig count was down nearly 70 percent in summer 2020.
President Biden has previously called on OPEC Plus, the name for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries along with Russia and some other countries, to increase their scheduled production increases, but has been rebuffed.
The move to tap into U.S. stockpile of crude, the largest in the world with 620 million barrels of oil, was also a way for the president to show the administration’s focus on rising gas prices that have stroked anxiety among Americans amid declining approval numbers for the administration.