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Gasoline prices in the United States fell below $4.50 per gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA, down 52 cents from the highest recorded average price reached last month. But gasoline prices are still higher today than before the announced release in March of a million barrels of crude oil per day from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
U.S. gasoline prices fell to a national average of $4.495 per gallon on Tuesday, AAA data showed. That’s down from an average of $4.521 yesterday and down from $4.655 a week ago. Even larger is the monthly change—a 48.8 cent drop. But overall, gasoline prices are still up markedly over the last year—$1.325 more per gallon than this time last year.
The Biden Administration has been battling rising pump prices since he took office, EIA gasoline pricing data shows, when national gasoline prices were less than $2.50 per gallon. Gasoline prices continued their steep climb until mid-June, after which pricing at the pump began to ease.
Under the current administration’s watch, 79.4 million barrels of crude oil has been released from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves since March 30 in pursuit of boosting commercial inventories of crude oil to lower gasoline prices. Tight global refinery capacity, supply chain issues in the industry, and a lack of investment within the industry, however, has confounded all efforts the Biden Administration has taken to lower prices—which has included multiple attempts at getting OPEC+ to raise crude oil production and accusations against oil companies and refineries of price gouging.
For the week ending March 28, the week before President Joe Biden announced that the government would release a million barrels of oil per day from emergency stockpiles, gasoline prices were $4.231, according to weekly EIA data—25.9 cents less than prices at the pump today.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.