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U.S. President Joe Biden could announce measures to address high gasoline prices as soon as this week, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told MSNBC in an interview on Monday.
“Hopefully there will be an announcement or so this week,” Granholm told MSNBC, referring to the President’s possible move to address the highest U.S. gasoline prices in seven years.
“He’s certainly looking at what options he has in the limited range of tools a president might have to address the cost of gasoline at the pump, because it is a global market,” the energy secretary added.
Over the weekend, President Biden said, referring to the oil market after OPEC+ snubbed the U.S. Administration’s call for extra supply:
“There are other tools in the arsenal that we have to deal — and I’m dealing with other countries; at an appropriate time, I will talk about it — that we can get more energy in the — in the pipeline, figuratively and literally speaking.”
The mentioning of “tools in the arsenal” came in response to a question about whether Washington was considering the release of some crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a means of reining in retail fuel prices.
President Biden is considering a release from the SPR as a possible move to reduce gasoline prices in the United States, after OPEC+ ignored on Thursday calls for putting extra barrels on the market, Secretary Granholm told Bloomberg on Friday.
The oil price rally, the still strong U.S. gasoline demand even after Labor Day, and falling gasoline inventories across the country have pushed U.S. gasoline prices to a 7-year high in recent weeks.
As of November 8, the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.422, according to data from AAA.
“For the first time in over 7 years, $2.99/gal is not on the top five for most common prices at US gas stations,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for fuel-savings app GasBuddy, tweeted on Monday, noting that all top five most common prices at U.S. gas stations on the morning of November 8 were above $3/gal.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com