In an effort to combat the spike in oil prices spark by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House on Thursday announced an historic release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The White House said President Joe Biden plans to release an average of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the reserves for the next six months.
“The scale of this release is unprecedented: the world has never had a release of oil reserves at this 1 million per day rate for this length of time,” the White House said. “This record release will provide a historic amount of supply to serve as bridge until the end of the year when domestic production ramps up.”
Biden is also calling for an increase in domestic oil production, with the White House accusing some oil companies of choosing to make extraordinary profits without making additional investment to help with supply.
The White House claimed the oil and gas industry is sitting on more than 12 million acres of non-producing Federal land with 9,000 unused but already-approved permits for production.
The president is subsequently urging congress to make companies pay fees on wells from their leases that they haven’t used in years and on acres of public lands that they are hoarding without producing.
Biden is also reiterating his commitment to achieving real energy independence by reducing U.S. dependence on oil altogether, calling on Congress to help speed the transition to clean energy that is made in America.
The price of crude oil moved lower on reports of Biden tapping the strategic reserves, with crude for May delivery currently plunging $5.79 to $102.03 a barrel.
Crude oil prices have seen substantial volatility since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while prices at the pump have remained stubbornly high above $4.20 a gallon on average.