WASHINGTON: US gas prices will fall for consumers, but it will take time, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday after he ordered the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the US strategic reserve amid soaring prices.
Biden acknowledged high gas prices are a “problem” for American families and for those around the world, noting record-high price levels in Europe and Asia while acknowledging the “impact is real” for consumers.
In order to relieve a supply crunch, the president authorized the largest-ever release from the US strategic petroleum reserve, and coordinated similar action with the governments of South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom. China, Biden said, “may do more as well.”
“This coordinated action will help us deal with a lack of supply, which in turn helps ease prices,” said Biden. “While our combined action will not solve the problem of high gas prices overnight, it will make a difference. It will take time, but before long you should see the price of gas drop.”
The White House earlier on Tuesday said Biden is committed to doing everything in his power to bring down costs for the American people and continue the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The president also ordered examining anti-competitive practices, it added.
“There is mounting evidence that declines in oil prices are not translating into lower prices at the pump,” the White House said in a statement.
Biden on Nov. 17 ordered the Federal Trade Commission to launch a probe into American energy companies for anti-consumer practices as the nation deals with soaring energy prices.
The president’s actions come as crude oil prices hover around their highest level since 2014, creating upward pressure on inflation. Consumer prices in the US rose 6.2% in October, marking their largest 12-month increase since 1990.
The US had 606.1 million barrels of oil in its strategic reserves as of the week ending Nov. 12, according to the country’s Energy Information Administration data. It also had 433 million barrels in commercial stocks.–Anadolu