President Joe Biden’s decision to dig into the U.S. emergency oil reserves again to prevent gas prices from spiking has caused the nation’s oil reserves to drop to the lowest it’s been in 40 years.
According to data from the Department of Energy, in the week ending September 30, the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve only had 416.4 million barrels of oil, the lowest its been since 1984, after Biden released another 6.2 million barrels.
This year alone, Biden has tapped into the nation’s petroleum reserves four times, with his biggest draw taking place in March when he announced 180 million barrels would be released from the reserves. This enormous figure would allow 1 million barrels to be released every day for six months.
In the wake of OPEC+’s announcement to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day, the White House announced on Wednesday that it would release an additional 10 million barrels of oil from the reserves.
The move comes as the 180 million barrels of reserves are set to end later this month, with many anticipating OPEC+’s decision will cause further strain on the global fuel supply.
That reduction in oil production — a blatant disregard for the lobbying by U.S. officials and Biden to ramp up production amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict — threatens to exacerbate inflation.
When Biden began releasing energy reserves, gas prices were climbing at a tremendous pace, reaching a staggering $5.01 national average per gallon in June; that figure has settled down to $3.86 now, according to the AAA.
While that is a 26 percent decrease from June’s peak, it’s a 29 percent increase from last year’s gas prices.