The Energy Department is to release 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), the first major release since the Libyan conflict of 2011, to lower gasoline prices. The SPR was originally intended to ease the shock of major supply disruptions such as the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970's. Apparently Joe Biden equates such crises as wars in the Middle East with his tanking approval ratings and the distinct possibility that Republicans will take Congress in the midterm elections.
While Biden sees high energy prices as a problem and needs some gesture to show he is doing something about it, it isn't as though he had no energy policy previously. From day one, he has moved to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and is considering closing the Line 5 pipeline feeding fuel to Michigan, to ban oil and gas leases on federal land, to regulate fracking out of business, and attempting to ramp up the ethanol mandate (in reality a farm state subsidy) which adds roughly 14 cents per gallon to the cost of producing gasoline and diesel while the difference between the cost of wholesale gasoline and ethanol adds another 10 cents, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Oh, and he asked the FTC to investigate the oil and gas companies for price-gouging, an historically unproductive activity. Does he, or his handlers, believe that it is possible to kill the fossil fuel industry without raising the price of heating and transport fuel in the meantime? Does he believe that an extra three days of oil will make much difference in the price of gasoline as OPEC and Russia consider cutting the supply to compensate?
Lord, make us green, but not yet.