President Biden announced this morning he’s ordering the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to bring down gas prices.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says is exactly the wrong move to make. Grassley, a Republican, says the president should only tap the reserve in a “real emergency” or in the case of critical national security issues.
“He needs to undo his executive order stopping the building of the XL pipeline,” Grassley says, “undo his executive order restricting drilling on federal land or offshore or in Alaska. He needs to stop his executive order restricting fracking.”
The news comes as tens of millions of Americans plan to gas up their vehicles this week before heading off to visit loved ones for Thanksgiving. Grassley blames the administration for escalating gas prices, which are more than a $1.20 a gallon higher in Iowa than they were a year ago.
“The United States can be the world’s biggest oil and natural gas producer if the government doesn’t step in the way,” Grassley says, “and President Biden has stepped in the way.” Iowa’s senior senator says he’s convinced the president’s gesture will have little-to-no significant impact on gasoline prices.
“Taking out of the national reserve will be a spit in the ocean compared to what he could do if he would reverse his bad policies that he put in place very soon after he was sworn in as president,” Grassley says. AAA Iowa reports gasoline prices in Iowa are averaging $3.16 a gallon. A year ago, they averaged a $1.95, a difference of a $1.21 a gallon.
Democrat Congresswoman, Cindy Axne and eight other House members wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to release oil from the strategic reserve.
Axne released a statement following Biden’s announcement, saying, “I appreciate President Biden for heeding my concerns and the concerns of those around the country who are feeling the burden of higher gas prices every time they fill up their tank. I will continue to work with the Biden Administration and my colleagues to implement solutions that lower costs for Iowans.”
(Dar Danielson of Radio Iowa also contributed to this story.)