The move by US President Joe Biden to withdraw one million barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the next three months did not change the rise in gasoline prices in various states.
During a tour by Al Jazeera Net to a number of gas stations in the vicinity of Washington, DC, it did not notice any change from yesterday's prices.
At the same time, consumers continue to suffer with the increase in the average price of gasoline at power stations, as the average price of a gallon of regular (the cheapest) gasoline reached $4.22 this week, which represents an increase of 17% compared to its price one month ago, when it reached $3.61, while the average price was $3.61. The price a year ago was $2.87 a gallon, which represents a 47% increase in one year, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA) (a grouping of US auto clubs).
The rise in energy prices is mainly due to the end of the repercussions of the Corona virus crisis on the global economy, the reopening of various economic sectors, and the revival of demand.
Meanwhile, producers have been slow to bring oil back to the market, pushing crude oil to multi-year highs.
Russia's war in Ukraine, and the subsequent imposition of sanctions on the Russian economy, caused uncertainty to control oil speculators around the world in light of the lack of a near and inevitable end to the conflict that has disrupted shipping lines and global supplies.
Energy prices affect an integrated chain of prices of goods and services, especially foodstuffs, due to the high costs of transportation and storage.
This led to the inflation rates reaching the highest rates during the past three decades.
Inflation prompted an increase in the prices of all goods and services, especially foodstuffs (Al-Jazeera)
Biden does not control prices
In his announcement, the president stated that he knew "gasoline prices are painful" but that his plan "will help ease that pain today." Biden blamed Russia's war in Ukraine, and said what we are seeing is "Putin's price hike."
He said that prices may drop by 10 cents to 35 cents per gallon, but he did not specify a timeframe for achieving this, while energy experts confirmed that "the price of gasoline, like any other commodity, is affected by many factors, and supply and demand conditions remain on top. These factors".
The plan to add up to 180 million barrels of US oil reserves to the market would be the largest ever drawdown of the emergency stockpile of underground oil in storage in Louisiana and Texas.
The Energy Information Administration website indicated that this means that the president's plan could reduce total oil reserves by a third.
This is the third withdrawal of its kind in less than 3 months, as Biden withdrew 50 million barrels last November, and an additional 30 million barrels at the beginning of March, and these steps had no effect on the continued rise in gasoline prices.
Biden is under a great deal of pressure, especially with the approaching congressional elections in November, amid the decline in his popularity rates, which reached below 40%.
And Republicans blame the president's policies, which they consider to have led to record inflation rates, which in turn led to the high cost of living for the majority of Americans.
Cutler Cleveland, professor of economics at Boston University and an expert on energy, has reservations about Biden's move and its effects, as he considered that pumping only 1% of global consumption will not change the price structure in a way that the consumer feels.
He tweeted, "The effect of Biden's withdrawal of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on oil prices. Global oil consumption = 100 million barrels per day. Release of one million barrels of oil per day for 180 days. Calculate you."
The effect of Biden's release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on oil prices?
World oil consumption = 100 million barrels per day.
Release from SPR = 1 million barrels of oil per day for 180 days
Do the math.https://t.co/NUhdDa0AFg
— Cutler J. Cleveland (@cutlercleveland) March 31, 2022
The energy expert at the Center for Political and Strategic Studies Ben Cahill also indicated - to Al Jazeera Net - that Biden's resort to the option of placing strategic oil reserves in the markets as a way out of the current high oil price crisis is not necessarily a magic solution.
The American expert added, "It is not a great quick solution to adjust the markets in the short term, and in fact the decline in strategic reserves may increase concerns about the decline in stocks, which usually provide a buffer against any future disasters."
Gasoline prices remained high despite Biden's decision (Al-Jazeera)
American drivers continue to suffer
91% of American families own one or more cars, and last year there were 286.9 million registered cars.
While the American Automobile Association asserts that nearly 90% of car owners are concerned about the affordability of filling their cars with gas, the association advises drivers to use technology apps like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas stations in each area.
He pointed out that some gas stations give a discount of 20-35 cents to those who pay in cash instead of using credit cards.
An Arab driver working with Uber spoke to Al Jazeera Net about the impact of the price hike, and said, "I am looking for the cheapest gas station in my area, and I fill the whole car, and I wait until I consume it all before filling it up again in the same way. One of the good things is that customers feel the price of gasoline is high, and from Here I am receiving tips, which did not happen to me before the recent price hike.”Keywords: