(DCWatchdog.com) – A new report reveals that a significant portion of the U.S. oil President Joe Biden released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce gas prices has ended up in China and other countries in Asia and Europe.
Even though the release may have helped reduce the average national gas price from $5.00 per gallon last month to $4.80 per gallon now, the release of extra oil into the market has depleted America’s strategic reserve to its lowest level in 36 years. Still, Biden has repeatedly sought credit for the move because of the slight price reduction for consumers.
Yet, according to a report by Reuters based on customs data and industry sources, at least 5 million barrels of oil from the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve release were exported outside of the United States last month to nations in Asia and Europe, including America’s power rival, communist China.
Besides China, U.S. oil from the strategic reserve went to India and the Netherlands.
One U.S. oil refining company, Phillips 66, exported 470,000 barrels of sour crude oil out of Texas to a port in northeast Italy, Trieste.
Another exporter, Atlantic Trading & Marketing (ATMI), owned by French company Total Energies, shipped out two cargoes, each with 560,000 barrels of U.S. strategic reserve oil.
Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, could not answer a reporter’s question on the matter, saying only that she had to “look into it” because she wasn’t aware of it.
Fuel costs worldwide have risen since the Russian invasion of Ukraine — yet the Biden administration has pursued policies such as nixing expansions to the Keystone XL Pipeline last year and delaying new drilling permits. Beyond releasing fuel reserves, Biden has also resorted to pleading with oil companies to cut into their profits.
“There is no question that Vladimir Putin is principally responsible for the intense financial pain the American people and their families are bearing,” Biden wrote in a recent letter to seven oil and gas companies. “But amid a war that has raised gasoline prices more than $1.70 per gallon, historically high refinery profit margins are worsening that pain.”
Biden has likewise set his sights on gas stations — which run on margins as low as 1.4%, according to industry research company IBISWorld.
“My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril,” Biden said on social media. “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”
The U.S. Oil and Gas Association — a petroleum industry advocacy group — responded to Biden by affirming that they are “working on it.” The organization wished Biden a happy Fourth of July and asked him to “please make sure” the White House intern who posted the tweet “registers for Econ 101 for the fall semester.”
Beyond gas station prices, analysts at JPMorgan Chase are warning that oil prices could triple to $380 a barrel as Russian officials continue their invasion of Ukraine. “It is likely that the government could retaliate by cutting output as a way to inflict pain on the West,” the analysts wrote. “The tightness of the global oil market is on Russia’s side.”
Yet crude inventories in the United States are currently at their lowest levels since 2004, according to Reuters, as refineries along the gulf coast operate at nearly 98% capacity.