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Biden administration releases 1M barrels of reserve gasoline in effort to lower prices

The Biden administration is releasing about 1 million barrels of reserve gasoline supplies, framing the move as part of an effort to bring down prices at the pump in the Northeastern U.S.

In a statement on the announcement, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday described the effort as “strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4th.” 

This is being done to make sure “sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most,” she said. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is laser focused on lowering prices at the pump for American families, especially as drivers hit the road for summer driving season,” Granholm added. 

Typically, gasoline prices rise in the summer as Americans hit the roads amid warm weather and summer vacations. 

Gasoline prices are often controlled by cyclical and global factors, while presidents have limited impacts. Nevertheless, the prices are often the subject of political scrutiny, especially in an election year.

Congress mandated the sale of the gasoline in the Northeast reserve as part of a bill to keep the government open earlier this year. Once the barrels are sold, the legislation directs the administration to close the reserve, which was created after Superstorm Sandy.

The administration said that the barrels will be sold in 100,000-barrel increments. Most will be sold from the gasoline storage site in Port Reading, N.J., while some will come from a site in South Portland, Maine.

Gasoline prices are actually down currently from weeks prior, averaging about $3.60 nationwide, according to the American Automobile Institute (AAA). A week ago they averaged $3.61, and a month ago they were at $3.67, AAA said.

When it separately released oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down prices in 2022, the administration received significant Republican backlash, as the GOP argued that the barrels should have been saved in case of an emergency.

Updated at 5:59 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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