Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has awarded contracts for all of the initial 30 million barrels it put up for sale as part of President Biden’s historic Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release. These barrels will be delivered in May and June, and are the first U.S. sale in the largest release from reserves from both the United States and the rest of the world in history. Together, these releases will put more than one million barrels per day on the market over the next six months, and will help address supply disruptions caused by Putin’s further invasion of Ukraine and the Price Hike that Americans are facing at the pump.
The initial sale of barrels from the release garnered strong interest and was substantially oversubscribed: DOE received bids for a total of 76 million barrels, or more than doublethe number of barrels put up for sale.
The Biden Administration also announced this week a set of new actions and programs this week that support the President’s mission to accelerate America’s move towards true energy independence and lowering costs for Americans with a clean energy economy.
With these announcement, President Biden is demonstrating both his unwavering commitment to doing everything in his power to ease the pain American families are facing today at the pump as a result of Putin’s Price Hike, while continuing to take strong action – right now and without delay – to achieve lasting American energy independence.
Actions to Immediately Increase Supply and Lower Prices at the Pump
Largest-Ever Release of Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. President Biden announced the largest-ever release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, which will put one million additional barrels on the market per day on average—every day—for the next six months. The release will provide a record amount of supply to the market until the end of the year, when domestic production is expected to increase by 1 million barrels per day. DOE will use the revenue from the release to restock the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in future years. This will provide a signal of future demand and help encourage domestic production today, and will ensure the continued readiness of the Reserve to respond to future emergencies.
Historic Collective Release of Oil from the International Energy Agency. After around the clock diplomacy by the President and allies and partners, the International Energy Agency announced an unprecedented collective release with member countries outside the United States releasing an additional 60 million barrels. Together with the United States’ commitment, this will add a combined global amount of 240 million barrels to the market. It is the largest release from other IEA countries in history, and will support American consumers and the global economy.
Expanding Americans’ Access to Affordable Fuel Options This Summer. President Biden announced that the EPA Administrator is planning to issue an emergency waiver allowing E15 gasoline—gasoline that uses a 15 percent ethanol blend—to be sold this summer. An emergency waiver can help increase fuel supplies, give consumers more choice to get lower prices, and provide savings to many families. At current prices, E15 can save a family 10 cents per gallon of gas on average, and many stores sell E15 at an even greater discount – adding up to real savings for working families. Allowing higher levels of blending will also reduce our dependency on foreign fuels as we rely more heavily on home-grown biofuels.
Increasing Domestic Production Through a “Use it or Lose it” Policy. The United States is already approaching record levels of oil and natural gas production, with domestic production expected to increase by 1 million barrels per day this year and over 500,000 barrels per day next year. But too many companies aren’t doing their part and are choosing to make extraordinary profits and without investing to help with supply. Right now, the oil and gas industry is sitting on more than 12 million acres of non-producing Federal land with 9,000 unused but approved permits for drilling. President Biden called on Congress to make companies pay fees on idled wells and non-producing acres on Federal lands – so that companies that continue to sit on excess capacity will have to choose whether to start producing or pay a fee.
Achieving Real Energy Independence and Lowering Costs for Families
The President knows the true path to energy security runs through clean energy. This week, the Biden Administration announced new actions and programs that accelerate and strengthen America’s move towards a clean energy economy and lower costs for consumers, furthering the path towards true U.S. energy independence. These actions build on the steps President Biden has taken this year to reduce energy costs for families: expanding clean energy, making clean energy more affordable and accessible, and increasing energy efficiency.
Expanding Clean Energy
- The Department of the Interior outlined a roadmap this week to reach the President’s target to double clean energy permits on public lands, reaching 25 gigawatts of renewable power by 2025.
- The Department of Energy established a new rebate program this week through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide utilities with the resources to upgrade critical equipment that supports a cleaner and more efficient power grid.
- President Biden launched the American offshore wind industry through the Department of the Interior, approving the first large-scale projects, identifying new wind energy areas in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and holding a record-breaking $4.3 billion lease sale, putting us on track to meet his target of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.
- The Department of Energy fast-tracked clean energy projects by approving record levels of solar and other renewables on public lands and helping local governments advance community solar projects.
- The Department of Energy advanced power grid upgrades to increase reliability, lower costs, and unlock more clean energy through the Building a Better Grid Initiative.
Making Clean Energy More Affordable and Accessible
- The Department of Energy deployed a software tool – SolarAPP+ – to cut permitting times for residential solar to less than one day, helping to fast-track families’ access to cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy.
- The Department of Agriculture a new pilot program to help people in underserved rural communities cut energy costs via renewable energy, building on more than $450 million in investments in renewable energy fur rural communities last year.
Increase Energy Efficiency
- The Biden Administration is advancing a series of 100 actions to be completed this year, which together will save families $100 every year with more efficient home appliances and equipment.
- The Department of Energy opened applications for more than $3 billion in new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding—ten times the historical funding levels—for the Weatherization Assistance Program, providing energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in homes and saving families on their utility bills.
- The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized standards for cars and trucks that will allow drivers to travel further on every gallon of fuel and save money at the pump.
- Vice President Harris announced the Biden-Harris Action Plan to Build Better School Infrastructure, including a $500 million grant program at the Department of Energy to save schools money by tackling energy costs—the second-largest expense after teacher salaries.
- The White House joined leaders from state and city governments, labor, and industry to launch the Building Performance Standards Coalition, a first-of-its-kind partnership between more than 30 state and local governments covering nearly 20% of the nation’s building footprint, dedicated to deliver cleaner, healthier buildings with lower energy bills.