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Biden to announce release of oil reserves as part of effort to lower gas prices

The Department of Energy will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to the White House. The release is aimed at addressing the lack of oil supply around the world.

This release will be in coordination with several other countries, including China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.

The move comes as the White House faces mounting pressure to lower skyrocketing prices at the pump that are contributing to the biggest inflation spike in decades, causing frustration and anger among Americans.

CNN previously reported Biden hoped to announce his decision to release the oil reserves during a Tuesday speech at the White House, but that the timing of such a move was still contingent on other nations finalizing their agreements.

The President is scheduled to deliver remarks Tuesday afternoon « on the economy and lowering prices for the American people, » according to the White House schedule, just hours before he is set to leave for a Thanksgiving break on Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts
Biden had been privately advised in recent weeks that tapping into the reserve wouldn’t do much to alleviate the current problems, but some Democratic lawmakers argued it could provide temporary relief at the pump. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was among the Democrats leading the charge.

Despite being told the impact may be negligible, the option to release oil reserves remained on the table, given Biden had few others, and officials believed coordinating with other countries could potentially have more of an effect.

The national gas price average as of Tuesday is $3.403, according to AAA, which is significantly higher than the average at the same time last year when many people were not driving or traveling as much due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, the President asked the Federal Trade Commission to « immediately » investigate whether illegal activity by oil and gas companies is pushing up gas prices.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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