Biden’s Energy Department Takes Credit for Reduction of Gas Prices Mandated by Congress

Jul 8, 2024 | U.S. | 0 comments

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced last week that it took action to “help lower gas prices ahead of the Fourth of July holiday,” a move mandated by Congress earlier this year when lawmakers voted to sell off a million-barrel oil reserve.

The Energy Department announcement heaped praise on the “Biden-Harris Administration,” with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm noting that it “continues to take strategic action to lower prices for American consumers in every aspect of their lives—especially as summer driving season ramps up.”

“By releasing this reserve ahead of July 4th, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the Northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most,” Granholm added.

Buried in the announcement, the DOE noted that the action was undertaken “in accordance with the 2024 Consolidated Appropriations Act.” It declined to explain further.

In reality, however, the 2024 Consolidated Appropriations Act—the bipartisan fiscal year 2024 government funding bill passed in March—mandated the Biden administration to entirely sell off the 1-million-barrel Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR) and shut it down for good. NGSR had been costly to maintain and wasn’t large enough to stymie actual supply shortfalls or energy crises.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report in 2022 that concluded the NGSR, which was created a decade ago during the Obama administration, is “not well suited to address the risks of supply disruptions in the region.” The reserve also only contains enough fuel to meet a fraction of the nation’s daily demand of 9 million barrels.

In other words, the policy to sell off all remaining NGSR supplies was effectively set by Congress and agreed to by President Joe Biden when he signed the funding bill earlier this year.

Additionally, after DOE first said it would solicit bids to purchase gasoline from the NGSR in late May, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement blasting Republicans and touting Biden’s efforts to lower energy costs for American consumers.

“With Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer driving season around the corner, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to lower gas prices with the sale of one million barrels of gasoline from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve,” she said at the time.

“This builds on other actions by President Biden to lower gas and energy costs—including historic releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the largest-ever investment in clean energy,” Jean-Pierre continued.

The average price of gasoline, meanwhile, has increased from $3.49 to $3.51 over the past week, according to data compiled by AAA. Prices have also increased in every state in the Northeast, the data shows.

DOE didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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The Department of Energy (DOE) announced last week that it took action to “help lower gas prices ahead of the Fourth of July holiday,” a move mandated by Congress earlier this year when lawmakers voted to sell off a million-barrel oil reserve.
The post Biden’s Energy Department Takes Credit for Reduction of Gas Prices Mandated by Congress appeared first on .[#item_full_content]

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