President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that release 50 million barrels of oil held in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as Americans pay more for gas now than they have in years.

Fox Business reported that of the 50 million barrels, 32 million will be released before eventually being returned to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the next few years. As for the remaining 18 million barrels, they are part of a sale that Congress has already authorized, and the Biden administration is planning to accelerate the release of that sale.

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“The President stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic,” Biden’s White House said in a statement.

Former President Donald Trump has already fired back at this in a statement of his own.

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The Biden administration has been trying to blame the economy’s slow recovering and restarting from the COVID-19 pandemic, also blaming energy companies for alleged anti-competitive behavior. Last week, Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether “illegal conduct” is driving up gas prices for Americans.

“There is mounting evidence that declines in oil prices are not translating into lower prices at the pump,” the White House said today.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm spoke out on Tuesday to tout the action to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“As we come out of an unprecedented global economic shutdown, oil supply has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price,” Granholm said. “This action underscores the President’s commitment to using the tools available to bring down costs for working families and to continue our economic recovery.”

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The Department of Energy issued a statement as well claiming that the exchange will be conducted with crude oil from all four SPR storage sites, going on to say that an exchange is “a mechanism specifically suited to the current economic environment, where markets expect future oil prices to be lower than they are today.”

“The exchange creates a bridge from today’s high price environment to a period of lower prices, and automatically provides for restocking the SPR over time,” the Energy Department said.

As of last Friday, there were 604.5 million barrels in the U.S. Strategic Reserve. The White House defended their latest move by saying that it reflects on Biden’s “commitment to do everything in his power to bring down costs for the American people and continue our strong economic recovery” while also maintaining the administration’s commitment to Biden’s “ambitious clean energy goals.”

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