President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that in an effort to lower gas prices, he has ordered the release of 15 million barrels from the U.S. strategic reserve and will consider additional withdrawals this winter.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
It’s a message with clear political implications as the president’s approval rating has moved in sync with changes in gasoline prices.
The withdrawals have sent the nation’s strategic reserve to its lowest level since 1984 in what the administration called a “bridge” until domestic production could be increased. The reserve now contains roughly 400 million barrels of oil, a level that opponents say has more to do with Biden’s attempts to help his fellow Democrats than spur more oil production in the U.S.
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“Independent analysts have confirmed that drawdowns in reserve so far have played a big role in bringing down oil prices, bringing them down. So we’re going to continue the responsible use of that national asset,” Biden said in remarks in the White House Roosevelt room.
The president has consistently said that high prices are the fault of Russia invading Ukraine at the start of this year.
Any declines in gas prices – no matter their magnitude – he attributes to his policies.
Biden denied his latest move was about the upcoming elections and rejected the notion that politics played a role in his latest action.
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But the issue has clear political implications as the president’s approval rating has moved inversely with changes in gasoline prices, which remain high despite coming down since a June peak.
“It’s not politically motivated at all,” Biden said Wednesday in response to reporters’ questions.