President Joe Biden told reporters on Wednesday (October 19) that his decision to release 15 million barrels of fuel from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was not politically motivated.
Biden received criticism for the move to release the fuel reserves as the White House attempts to reduce the cost of gas ahead of the midterm elections.
When announcing the decision to release the 15 million barrels, Biden stated, “It’s not politically motivated at all.”
Instead, the President said his motivation is “to make sure I continue to push on what I’ve been pushing on, and that’s making sure there’s enough oil that’s being pumped by the companies so that we have the ability to be able to produce enough gas that we need here at home and at the same time keep moving in a direction of providing for alternative energy.”
Biden also rebutted questions about criticism from Republicans about his plans saying, “Where have they been the last four months? That’s my response.”
In March, Biden announced 180 million barrels of oil be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; Wednesday’s 15 million barrels was the final installment of that release.
During Wednesday’s announcement, the President outlined the plans to refill the nation’s oil reserves, saying the oil used would be bought back once oil falls to $70 a barrel — currently, the West Texas Intermediate price per barrel of crude oil hovers at $85.
Biden also reiterated calls for companies to pass the savings onto customers, saying, “You should be using these record-breaking profits to increase production and refining. Invest in America for the American people. Bring down the price you charge at the pump to reflect what you pay for the product.”