U.S. President Joe Biden is once again tapping into the country’s emergency stockpile of oil as the White House tries to prevent gasoline prices from spiking again, reducing the petroleum reserve to its lowest level in four decades, according to a report by Fox News.
The nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve had 416.4 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 30 – the lowest level since 1984 – after the Biden administration released another 6.2 million barrels, according to Department of Energy data, said the report.
Biden had tapped the emergency oil stash four times over the past year in hopes of lowering gas prices, including in March, when he ordered a record-setting 180 million barrels of oil released from the reserve – 1 million barrels per day over six months, it explained.
With the releases scheduled to finish this month, the White House said on Wednesday that it would release 10 million additional barrels in November, it added.
The decision to further drain the oil reserves came hours after OPE+ announced it would slash oil production by 2 million barrels, the first major cut in two years.
The move – which came despite lobbying from U.S. officials to do otherwise – threatens to raise oil prices at a time when the world is already combating record-high inflation.
The White House condemned the production cuts, which threaten to push gas prices higher with midterm elections just one month away.
“The president is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC Plus to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said in a statement.