President Biden announces plan to release 1 million barrels of oil a day to help with gas prices

Will President Biden's plan lower gas prices?
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 8:04 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Joe Biden announced a plan on Thursday, March 31, 2022, to help ease the pain at the pump, saying the U.S. will release one million barrels of oil per day from its reserves.

President Biden’s plan would put more oil on the global market, which could potentially bring down costs.

Biden said the additional barrels of oil from the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve will happen over the next six months, which amounts to about 180 million barrels.

And to put that in perspective, the United States consumes around 20 million barrels of oil per day.

UAB Assistant Professor of Economics, Dr. Ben Meadows, said the mere mention of the president releasing oil from the reserves has already brought gas prices down.

In some cases, drivers are paying at least $0.30 less now than they were even a week ago.

Dr. Meadows anticipates those prices will continue to come down saying gas prices tend to shoot up like a rocket but come down like a feather.

He says oil is a complicated commodity, and while the President is taking steps to ease the pain at the pump, no one person has the power to control it.

“It’s really hard to say with any definitive answer how much, how soon, and really for how long this will bring gas prices down because one of the things that we have to remember is that gas prices have been on a run since the end of the pandemic. So, while the Ukrainian crisis and cutting off Russian imports does affect our domestic oil prices because we’re interactive with a global economy, it’s really hard to say how this might play out,” Dr. Meadows said.

Analysts say tapping the reserve generally only has a limited effect on gas prices because of how much oil can be released at one time saying this is a political sign that President Biden is continuing to confront the problem.


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