Author Topic: DAVID BLACKMON: Biden Raided Our Gas Reserves To Help Win An Election. Will He Do It Again?  (Read 1201 times)

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David Blackmon
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
August 06, 2023 9:50 AM ET
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Gasoline prices at the pump are high and will most likely be going higher for the foreseeable future. AAA reported Friday that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.83, the highest seen thus far in 2023, up from $3.53 on July 4. That’s an 8% increase during a time when the price for crude oil has jumped by 10%, indicating more running room for further increases in the price at the pump during August.

It is a simple fact that the price for gas in the United States follows crude prices up and down, which makes sense given that gasoline is derived from crude oil during the refining process. Gas prices are impacted by other factors, including transportation costs, EPA regulations requiring refiners to make dozens of region-specific summer blends to fight haze, and lack of domestic refining capacity.

But the price for crude is the single most consistent factor, and a consensus has formed among market analysts now that crude prices are likely to keep rising across the final five months of 2023. With Saudi Arabia and fellow OPEC+ member countries announcing this week they will extend their current export cuts through at least September, the currently under-supplied global market for crude seems destined to remain in that state for the remainder of the year.

The Biden Energy Department, led by Secretary Jennifer Granholm, appeared to react to this reality last week by cancelling a scheduled purchase of 6 million barrels of oil to kick off its long-delayed program to begin refilling the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Granholm and her DOE subordinates have given lip service to complying with regulations that require the SPR volumes to be refilled in a timely manner all year long but have thus far failed to complete a single transaction. A spokesperson for DOE would not detail any specific reasons for the cancellation of the latest planned purchase, other than offering a vague rationale of “market conditions.”

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