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Is SPR Release the Biden Administration's Attempt to Quell Gas Prices?

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U.S. President Joe Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) on Tuesday.

The move is aimed to temper surging energy prices.

Related: Oil Slides as Biden Releases 50 Million Barrels of Stockpiled Oil Reserves

"I have been working with countries across the world to address the lack of supply," said President Biden. "As a result of our diplomatic efforts, this step will be taken in parallel with other major energy consuming nations including China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom."

The White House says that the U.S. Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in two ways:

  • 32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead. 
  • 18 million barrels will be an acceleration into the next several months of a sale of oil that Congress had previously authorized.

The surge in gasoline prices is closely tied to rising inflation in the U.S. On Tuesday the national gas price averaged around $3.40 a gallon, more than double the price from last year, according to the American Automobile Association.

Established in the 1970s, the SPR currently holds over 600 million barrels of oil.

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