Many environmentalists and Democrats backed President Joe Biden’s decision to release a record fifty million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve of the United States, even as the step appeared to negate his long-term vision of fighting climate change. The U.S. president announced the decision on Tuesday – in coordination with nations like the United Kingdom, India, and China – aimed to support global energy markets and help to lower petroleum prices that rose over one dollar per gallon since January.
However, it could also dent the climate goals of the president, including a fifty percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Some leading climate hawks raised their concerns about the Biden move because, according to them, it is a short-term fix to meet a specific issue. Democratic Senator Ed Markey said that the president was taking effective action to protect the U.S. nationals from oil price overcharging even as the government continues to give a boost to renewable energy that it hopes will ultimately mean less dependency on fossil fuels.
Under the legislation, the U.S. has the authority to declare an emergency and stop or limit oil exports for about one year. Senior director of energy campaigns with the Sierra Club, Kelly Sheehan, welcomed the actions of Biden as a way to ease energy burdens on Americans. However, she said the present spike in gasoline prices was a reminder that the only way to achieve energy security is to instantly transition away from risky fossils such as oil and gas and make it easier for more Americans to access clean energy.
Electric Cars will Save up to $1,000 in Fuel Costs
The research director of Oil and Change International, Lorne Stockman, said Biden should act sooner if only to counter Republicans’ criticism and blame him for higher gasoline prices. Stockman said. Usually, American presidents face criticism for high gas prices, whether they have anything to do with it or not. Furthermore, he called the move a small step to bring temporary relief to U.S. consumers.
While speaking at the White House, Biden said that the rise in petroleum prices made a move necessary and would not distract from his higher ambitions of moving toward energy independence. Further, he added that his effort to address climate change isn’t increasing gas prices. Instead, he is trying to increase the availability of jobs by building electric cars. The president said that Americans could save $1000 in fuel costs this year by buying electric vehicles.
I will not stand by while oil companies engage in profiteering at the expense of American families.
That’s why I’ve asked the FTC to consider whether potentially illegal and anti-competitive behavior in the oil and gas industry is causing higher prices for consumers.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 23, 2021
Additionally, the government will put those savings within reach of more American residents and create new jobs by installing electric heat pumps, solar panels, and batteries. His administration can make the economy and consumers less vulnerable to these types of price hikes when it does that. Biden added that they are looking into possible price gouging by oil firms enfolding customers while making money off lower costs.
Coronavirus and Oil Prices
On the other hand, Jennifer Granholm, the U.S. Energy Secretary, said that American companies kept manufacturing production below pre-coronavirus pandemic levels to increase profits. At the same time, the COVID-19 shook energy markets badly. As closures worldwide started in April 2020, due to which oil demand collapsed, and oil future prices turned negative in the U.S., but as the economy recovered after the vaccine roll-out, oil prices soared to a seven-year high in October.
Senator John Barrasso called the president’s use of the strategic oil reserve, along with calls for Russian and OPEC countries to grow production, desperate efforts to combat a Biden-caused disaster, and no alternative for intensified American energy production. The climate and energy justice manager at Friends of the Earth, Lukas Ross, said the increase in petroleum prices shows that the U.S. continued dependence on an unstable compound increasing the global temperature is precisely why the country needs sweeping social. Climate bill of Biden approved as early as possible.
The House approved a $2 trillion spending bill pending in the Senate, including around $550 billion for efforts to combat climate change, including proposals to boost solar and wind power and back the manufacturing of electric vehicles. Republican leaders generally oppose the measure. The U.S. president said American needs to transition away from oil dependence. In addition, the S&P 500 soared 0.2 percent after wobbling between small losses and gains most of the morning. Likewise, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged below 0.1 percent after being down 0.6 percent early going. While Nasdaq surged 0.4 percent, getting a jump from a late-afternoon rally in technology stocks.
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