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Joe Biden’s release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve hasn’t kept gasoline and diesel prices from continuing to hit record highs, and it turns out that some of that oil has been exported to China and other nations.
Reuters reported that more than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of the release ordered by Biden were exported to Europe and Asia last month.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Biden renewed his call for gasoline suppliers to cut their prices.
Last month – in an address to the nation in which he called on Congress to pass a federal gas tax holiday – Biden demanded that gas stations immediately lower their prices.
“To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump, this is a time of war, global peril, Ukraine,” he said. “These are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump. Do it now.”
Average prices for gasoline in the U.S. are about $4.74 a gallon.
About 1 million barrels per day is being released through October, draining the reserve to its lowest since 1986.
A Department of Energy spokesman argued the emergency releases helped ensure a stable supply of crude oil.
“The SPR remains a critical energy security tool to address global crude oil supply disruptions,” the spokesman said.
U.S. Customs data shows about 470,000 barrels from the SPR were sent to Italy. And industry sources said cargoes were sent to China, the Netherlands and India.
Matt Smith, lead oil analyst at Kpler, told Reuters that without the SPR releases, crude and fuel prices likely would be higher, “but at the same time, it isn’t really having the effect that was assumed.”
See Biden’s demand of gas station owners:
Biden: “To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump, this is a time of war, global peril, Ukraine. These are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump. Do it now.” pic.twitter.com/DF9TEduoM5
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 22, 2022
In his June 22 address to the nation, Biden repeated his insistence that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is to blame for the highest inflation in four decades.
But on the same day, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell contradicted the president while answering a question under oath from a U.S. senator.
“Would you say that the war in Ukraine is the primary driver of inflation in America?” asked Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.
“No. Inflation was high before; certainly before the war in Ukraine broke out,” Powell replied.
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