Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm does not exclude the possibility that the country will use crude oil reserves from the national strategic oil reserve in order to avoid a sharp rise in gasoline prices. The Financial Times reports.
"This is a tool that is under consideration," Granholm said.
The minister also did not rule out a ban on the export of crude oil. She noted, however, that the U.S. has not used such a solution before, "but it is also a tool."
According to the Financial Times, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. is now hovering at $3.19 a gallon (3.785 liters), which is the highest level in seven years. The publication noted that the White House is concerned that rising fuel prices could harm the political prospects of the president's administration in anticipation of the midterm elections next year.
The U.S. strategic oil reserves are located near the Gulf of Mexico and are the world's largest stockpile of crude oil for emergencies. They held 617.8 million barrels of oil last week, roughly equivalent to a month's demand for petroleum products in the United States.
U.S. President Joe Biden had previously called on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to increase oil production in response to rising gasoline prices. In response, the US senators sent a letter to the US leader pointing out that the administration had initially pursued a policy that limited the oil and gas sector of the USA and threatened its development. The document also said that the U.S. has a sufficiently high domestic supply and the necessary reserves to increase production, which could also lead to lower gasoline prices.