BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In an effort to help with the prices at the pump, President Biden ordered the release of oil from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve.
According to a map from AAA, gas prices in California are averaging nearly $6 dollars a gallon compared to $4.22 a gallon nationwide.
The Biden Administration hopes that tapping the petroleum reserve will not only buy time but force gasoline prices to drop long enough for domestic producers to increase output.
“Today I authorize the use of one million barrels per day over the next six months over 180 million barrels,” said President Biden.
President Biden said his hope is this decision will lower prices by 10 to 35 cents a gallon. This is the third time Biden has turned to the strategic petroleum reserve in a little more than four months.
“This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply until production ramps up later this year and it is by far the largest release of our national reserve in our history.”
Currently, the reserve, which is located in Louisiana and Texas, holds about 568 million barrels of oil but President Biden doesn't plan to pull from these reserves as a long-term solution.
“I'm calling for a ‘use it or lose it’ policy to make companies, congress should make companies pay fees on wells they haven't used in years and acres of public land their hoarding without production.”
This order was met with some backlash from Republicans including local Assemblyman Vince Fong who says: “Tapping the strategic petroleum reserve is another short-term and superficial approach to the energy crisis affecting our nation.”
Fong added that, “California remains an energy island unable to obtain significant oil supplies from other states. We need more oil production in California, and we have the ability to do it.”
President Biden went on to say that the reason prices are rising is because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine but advises that the sanctions are working.
“Thus far, these actions are crippling Russian economy isolating Putin from the world and helping Ukrainians fight for their country and ease their suffering.”
Congressman Kevin McCarthy was also against Biden’s decision, saying the petroleum reserve is already at a 20-year-low, and it will not deliver relief for those prices.