With Election Near, Biden Admin To Sell Off Gas Reserves In Effort To Lower Prices

President Biden Welcomes Governors To The White House During The National Governors Association Winter Meeting
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
May 21, 2024

The Biden administration on Tuesday released a million barrels of gasoline in the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve to lower prices at the pump ahead of the presidential election this fall.

The 42 million gallons of gasoline from storage sites in New Jersey and Maine will be sold and transferred to local retailers and terminals no later than June 30, the Department of Energy announced on Tuesday. 

"This solicitation is strategically timed and structured to maximize its impact on gasoline prices, helping to lower prices at the pump as Americans hit the road this summer," the announcement reads.  

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the Biden administration is "laser focused on lowering prices at the pump for American families" and that "by strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4th, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most." 

The Biden administration in 2022 also tried to lower gas prices by releasing a record 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the U.S. emergency oil reserves, including many to the Chinese Communist Party and other foreign entities.

As a result, the SPR stockpile has dropped to its lowest level since the 1980s, with fewer than 370 million barrels as of May 10, down from nearly 600 million at the start of 2022.

The administration has repeatedly delayed its replenishment plans despite promises to refill the oil supply. The Energy Department in April again canceled its plans to refill the SPR, citing high gas prices and saying it was "keeping the taxpayer’s interest at the forefront."

"It’s pure insanity to watch the Biden Administration cut American oil production and then claim they can’t refill our critical reserve because of the price," Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of energy advocacy group Power The Future, said at the time.

"Joe Biden drained the SPR for political reasons, cut our domestic production for his climate agenda and now he’s leaving our critical reserve more vulnerable because he’s incompetent," Turner added.