Donald Trump accused Biden’s successor of depleting America’s strategic petroleum reserves, which he claimed were “100% filled”.
“I saw Biden just said that he’s going to take away things that we’ve magically and carefully built. It’s still a futile attempt to bring down the price of gasoline. They’re going to empty the stockpile again. once again,” former US President Donald Trump issued a statement on March 31, referring to the decision to open the strategic oil reserve of his successor Joe Biden.
Trump’s remarks came in the context of President Biden releasing one million barrels of oil per day from the strategic reserve for 180 consecutive days, in order to stabilize the petroleum market amid the Ukraine crisis.
“After 50 years of being almost empty, the national strategic oil reserve was 100% filled by me when energy prices were cheap,” former President Trump said. “This oil storage is supposed to be used only in case of emergency or large-scale conflict.”
According to the US Energy Information Administration, when Trump took office in 2017, the strategic oil reserve had nearly 695 million barrels of oil. But these reserves gradually decreased year by year during his term, and by January 2020, these reserves were down to 635 million barrels of oil.
The US strategic oil reserves can hold a maximum of 714 million barrels of oil and have never been “100% filled” during the four years of Mr. Trump’s presidency. When President Biden took office in January 2021, America’s strategic oil reserves remained at 638 million barrels.
President Biden’s administration then twice opened the strategic oil reserve to deal with high gasoline prices. The US first released 50 million barrels of oil reserves in November 2021 and then 30 million barrels this month.
As of March 25, the US strategic reserve has 568,322 million barrels of oil. The decision to open oil reserves is expected to help cool the situation, but it may not be enough to significantly reduce gasoline prices, because Americans are consuming up to 20 million barrels of oil a day.
After the US opened oil reserves in November 2021, gasoline prices only decreased for a short time before rising again at the end of January.
On the eve of the midterm congressional elections, the US President is under pressure to deal with high gasoline prices, when Republicans repeatedly attack this issue. Polls in recent months have shown Biden’s approval ratings have dropped to a record, as residents complain about high gas prices and inflation.