The nation’s emergency oil reserves are down to seeds and stems, but the Biden Administration has now fulfilled its December promise to purchase 3.2 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
That leaves nation’s emergency supply of oil 17 million barrels short of where it was in January of 2023, with only 300 million to go to restore it to Trump Administration levels.
The Biden Administration has been draining the reserve to tamp down gas prices during the past three years, selling off record-setting amounts of oil at a pace that has alarmed some energy analysts.
“The 3.2 million barrels are being purchased for an average price of $75.96, well below the average of about $95 per barrel that SPR crude was sold for in 2022, securing a good deal for taxpayers. To date, DOE has purchased a total of 17.03 million barrels of oil for the SPR for an average price of $75.75, as well as accelerated nearly 4 million barrels of exchange returns, pursuant to its strategy to refill the SPR,” the Energy Department wrote on Friday.
In earlier news releases from December, the government said it would buy back oil at a price lower than $72 a barrel, but the $4 delta is due to the commodity not hitting the administration’s hoped-for price.
Analysis from the Department of the Treasury shows the sell-off of the emergency supply reduced gas prices for consumers by “as much as 40 cents per gallon,” the Energy Department said.
AAA reports the average price of regular gas in America today is $3.082 per gallon. In Alaska, the average is $3.53, and Hawaiian drivers are paying $4.67, the highest in the nation, followed by Californians, who pay $4.51, largely because of high taxes.
The current national average is three cents more than a month ago but 26 cents less than a year ago.
According to AAA, gas prices are well over what they were when Biden took office. In January 2021, at the end of the Trump Administration, drivers paid an average of $2.39 per gallon.