President Joe Biden has just about ruined Democrats' chances in the midterms. His efforts to rectify the situation will make things even worse.
To curb soaring oil prices, Biden will tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for another 15 million barrels of oil in December, Politico reported. Senior officials in the administration made this announcement Tuesday, just three weeks ahead of the midterm elections.
In March, Biden had authorized the Energy Department to release a total of 180 million barrels over a six-month period. This latest is the last of that authorization, with 400 million barrels left in the reserve.
Critics said this was unnecessary to announce given the authorization, but the administration stressed that it would not have completed the release had the market conditions changed. Officials also claim this may not be the last release if fuel prices don't level out.
The administration is hoping to replenish supplies at $67 to $72 a barrel, though that is a pipe dream as prices are still at least $10 above that benchmark. "In terms of protecting taxpayer funding [and] being responsible stewards of the SPR, you want to sell when the prices are high, and you want to buy when they're low," an administration official said.
"And we wanted to put the marker out there at this point that we will buy when they're low." The problem for Biden is that he slashed domestic oil production and is now beholden to OPEC, so prices could remain high.
Right out of the gate of his administration, Biden canceled oil and gas leases on federal land. He made good on his campaign promise to limit domestic oil production and provide "no ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period," the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Releases from the reserve are like putting a bandage on a mortal wound. It may stop the bleeding temporarily, but unless the situation is properly addressed, it's only a matter of time before the festering wound becomes fatal.