WASHINGTON (SBG) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged President Joe Biden to use one of the few tools any president has to lower gas prices: tap into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“We need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Schumer said during a press conference in New York on Sunday.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an emergency fuel source held by the U.S. Department of Energy. Biden tapped into it after Hurricane Ida in an exchange with ExxonMobil Baton Rouge. It’s also been used by past presidents following other natural disasters and conflicts in the Middle East.
Schumer’s call followed a letter 11 Senate Democrats sent Biden last week asking for the same thing.
“We ask that you consider all tools available at your disposal to lower U.S. gasoline prices,” the letter said.
During an interview with CNN on Monday morning, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Biden is considering tapping into the reserve. She said one of the things he’s waiting for is a report from the U.S. Energy Information Agency that will forecast gas prices.
“Ultimately the best solution is to build an economy on clean energy so that you don’t have to rely on the volatility of fossil fuels, and that’s really what the Build Back Better agenda and the bill he’s signing today is all about,” Granholm said, referring to the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
According to AAA, the national average on Monday for a gallon of gas was $3.41.