More now, less later. “Look, the bottom line is this,” Biden said at the White House. “Between ramping up production in the short term and driving down demand in the long term, we can free ourselves from our dependence on imported oil from across the world.”
Biden’s plan to bring down gas prices
The President is authorizing an unprecedented 1 million barrels of oil per day — 180 million barrels total — to be released from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
He also wants oil companies to increase production and for Congress to penalize firms that don’t produce from federal lands.
Will these moves work to lower prices?
Even Biden admits he doesn’t really know, and the way the worldwide oil markets work, it will largely depend on how much other oil producers add — or don’t add — to their production.
At most, he said we’re looking at a cost decrease of 10 cents to 35 cents per gallon when the effect of additional oil on the market kicks in. The national average for regular gasoline was $4.24 Wednesday, which was down from a record set earlier in March.
Stuck between ambition and reality
CNN’s senior climate editor Angela Fritz told me Biden is “stuck between progressive ambition to take meaningful climate action and the reality that the US is still extremely dependent on fossil fuels and people want cheap gas.”
In the meantime, the climate crisis is taking its toll.
‘Delay means death’
“The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”
He also said that “current events” showed the world was too reliant of fossil fuels, calling them “a dead end,” in an apparent reference to the Ukraine conflict and energy crisis.
Proof of the climate crisis
Fritz also pointed to reports this week of a shift in Antarctica, which has so far been less affected by the climate crisis than its Arctic counterpart.
Why do we care about Antarctica? There’s so much ice on the continent — if even a fraction of it melts, the world could be in for several feet of sea level rise.
The daily reality for people
Antarctica is so far away, however, and many Americans might be more focused on the cost of getting to work.
Biden sought to place much of the blame for the rise in gas prices at the feet of Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine and said it is worth the price to stand up to the autocrat.