Background: President Joe Biden announced that the United States would release around 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the largest release ever. The stockpile was created for energy emergencies in the case of natural disasters and wars.
The impact: The move will only account for around 5% of American daily demand for 180 days. Prices have fallen about 6% following Biden’s announcement but will only be a temporary reduction in costs.
The politics: Gas prices and inflation are the most significant issues for voters right now—most of which are correctly not buying the Putin price hike narrative. Consistently high inflation and gas prices are problems for Democrats as the midterm elections approach.
The reality is that gas prices aren’t high because of war or natural disasters; they’re connected to Biden's war on natural gas. The American Petroleum Institute reached out to Biden to encourage him to reduce regulations on oil production which could lower prices. The Biden administration claims that prices are high because oil producers are grabbing profits.
Big picture: Emergencies didn’t cause higher gas prices—Biden’s policies did. Now, America’s strategic oil reserve is being used for politics. This will hurt America’s ability to respond to real emergencies in the future.