Plans to lower gas prices: 50 million barrels of crude oil to be released from reserves

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 7:52 PM CST
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Hackberry, LA (KPLC) - President Joe Biden is taking action to combat rapidly rising gas prices, and Southwest Louisiana is a big part of the plan.

Biden said now is the time to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“So, today I’m announcing that the largest ever release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help provide the supply we need as we recover from this pandemic,” President Biden said in a news conference Tuesday.

To bring the cost of gas down, Biden has called for increasing supply by using millions of barrels of crude oil. And a portion of it is stored here in Southwest Louisiana at the West Hackberry Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The president said the prices won’t come down overnight, but drivers in the area said they hope to see the relief soon.

“It’s not funny anymore, okay. It’s not a joke,” Byron Gibbs said. “When I gas up... I use to gas up at $30, now it’s $60.”

Many, like Drew East, are fed up with the high gas prices, and he said it can cost nearly $100 dollars for him to fuel his truck.

“Gas prices are ridiculous. I hate that every single time I go to fill up my truck, most of the time the pump shuts off before my truck can be full,” East said. “My wife’s car, I used to be able to fill it up for $40, now it’s $60, $70. I just think it’s ridiculous.”

In order to bring down the price of oil, the president plans to increase supply by releasing a total of 50 million barrels of crude oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserves, and seven million of those barrels are coming out of West Hackberry. That’s just part of the plan to bring down prices.

Biden said he also got other nations to release reserves, which should increase the global supply. He’s also looking to see if oil companies are breaking the law because gas prices have not followed oil prices which have been dropping.

It’s a multi-prong attack, but it won’t help people in time for Thanksgiving travel.

“Spending money that you ain’t got to spend,” Hackberry resident Shane Barry said.

Drives are hoping the gas prices won’t be burning a hole in their wallets much longer.

“As long as the gas prices go down, I mean, I guess that’s good that they can take it from here.” East said.

Companies can place bids for the oil now until December 6, and contracts will be awarded by December 17.

Exchange crude oil will be returned to the reserves over the next three years.

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