Will Biden Do the Unthinkable for Gas This Summer?

Chad Robertson Media / shutterstock.com
Chad Robertson Media / shutterstock.com

It’s no secret that gas prices are on the rise. And as summer approaches, they will only go up more unless Biden does something rather drastic.

As you know, the oil/gas industry, like anything else, relies heavily on supply and demand. The more people want or need it, the less of it is available, meaning prices go up.

During the summer months, that is only heightened, as more Americans tend to take more trips to the lake, go on vacation, or just want to be out and about rather than cooped up indoors. What this means is that more gas will be demanded by Americans, meaning the price per gallon will inevitably go up.

Naturally, the problem facing us, and more specifically, the Democratic Party, at the moment is that prices are already high.

Since Biden and his party took over the White House in 2021, gas prices have skyrocketed. At the time, he tried to blame it all on Trump, the Ukraine War, and anything else he could think of. But nearly four years later, all those reasons aren’t that reasonable, and we aren’t buying it.

On top of that, this is an election year.

If Biden and his party have any hope of keeping the Executive Branch in their grasp, they are going to show Americans that, at the very least, they are working on the problem.

One usually simple solution would be to raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or SPR. This is, as its name implies, quite simply a reserve of crude oil that can be refined to make more gas for America that we already have on hand.

Of course, there’s a problem with raiding this stash: the SPR is already critically low. In fact, it’s the lowest it’s been in over 40 years.

In October 1983, the SPR sat with 367 million barrels of crude oil. In January 2024, it had 358 million, which is noted as a mere half of its authorized capacity.

Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if Biden was even slowly working on replenishing it. But he’s not.

So, America is running on fumes, essentially.

Sure, we have a smallish stash of oil that could serve to lower gas prices for the summer or at least keep them about where they are now. But should we run into a crisis of sorts where more gas is needed in any capacity, those reserves are going to run out fast, leaving us with nothing.

There is another option…

Naturally, as Biden and other Democrats have done plenty of times before, we could import oil from elsewhere.

But this, too, has its issues.

For starters, crude oil is already expensive, hence the high gas prices. Tacked onto that is even more expensive shipping costs. Hell, even if Biden chose to domestically pump the oil, it would then have to be refined, shipped by pipeline, train, and then a truck of some sort to get it to local gas stations.

Each of those costs something. And each of those is one more link in the supply chain that could break.

And that doesn’t even begin to explain the risk of getting oil from other nations. You know, like Russia, who, as the UK’s Daily Mail reports, is having oil prices affected by drone strikes on refineries. Or what about Iran, which is testy, to say the least, and, as usual, involved in one war or another?

Again, there is lots more risk.

And so, we’re back to the safest option being, tapping into the SPR.

As Vikas Dwivedi of Macquarie Group told Bloomberg, it’s really his only option if he hopes to rein in gas prices for the summer.

“The government will have to release oil from the SPR with a lot of aggressiveness to tame prices. There are not many tools available, and this is one of the most effective.”

Already, gas prices have been noted to be up by 17 percent this year. According to AAA, the national average for regular per-gallon gas was $3.66 on Wednesday and nearing $4 per gallon. In some states, such as California, gas is obviously a bit more, at around $7.29 a gallon, according to the Daily Mail.

And thanks to extreme summer heat expected in refinery states like Texas, oil production is already expected to be problematic. High mortgage interest rates preventing families from buying new homes aren’t helping either.

All of this adds up to bad news for American gas prices and Biden…