President Joe Biden ordered Thursday the release of one million barrels of oil per day for the next six months in response to the escalation of energy prices derived in part by the war in Ukraine, in addition to the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, which Biden himself ordered when he took office.
The White House advanced in a statement the announcement of the president, who plans to provide details of this measure in an appearance at 13.30 local time (17.30 GMT.)
According to the Biden administration, the measure is “unprecedented” since never before has the world seen oil being released at a rate of one million barrels a day.
The administration hopes that this “record” announcement will serve to put more crude oil on the energy market by the end of the year when the United States expects to have increased domestic production.
Biden is coordinating with allies around the world and other nations are expected to join the United States in increasing the amount of oil on the market, the White House said.
To lower energy prices, the president will tap into America’s strategic reserves, located in large subway caverns in the south of the country, which currently stand at around 600 million barrels.
Those stockpiles were created in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo drove up prices and hurt the economy.
Under the Trump administration, 77 million barrels of oil were purchased for the purpose of filling the stockpiles, and in a recent interview, the former president argued that Biden would now release the reserves he filled, according to him, try to cover his mistakes.
During his speech, Biden also plans to ask Congress to impose fines on those companies that have leased public land and are not producing energy.
The United States has been producing its own oil and gas for years through hydraulic fracturing and other forms of extraction, but when energy prices plummeted during the pandemic, many companies abandoned oil wells because it was not profitable to continue drilling.
The Biden administration estimates that domestic production will increase this year at a rate of one million barrels per day, and next year could add 700,000 barrels per day.
The price of gasoline in the United States has soared from $3.30 a gallon (about 3.8 liters) at the beginning of the year to more than $4.20 today, partly due to Biden’s policies to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project that would bring crude oil from Canada to supply U.S. energy demand.
The United States announced this month that it will stop importing Russian gas, oil and coal in retaliation for the war in Ukraine.