Asked for comment, a White House spokesperson said Biden is very concerned about gasoline prices and wants to do what he can to mitigate them. A number of ideas are on the table but no decisions have been made, the spokesperson said.
The consideration of a new release from the reserve comes as the U.S. national average for retail prices is above $4 a gallon, with near record-high prices raising political alarm bells for Biden and Democrats heading in to the mid-term elections. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $4.24 Thursday, according to auto club AAA.
The previous release was coordinated with member countries of the International Energy Agency to collectively release 60 million barrels, but it had a limited effect in bringing down oil prices.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier Friday that oil prices and tapping emergency stockpiles were discussed in sessions Thursday in Brussels, where Biden met with NATO, Group of Seven and European Union counterparts. It came up in particular with the G-7, where it was a “major topic of conversation,” he said.
Oil has rallied over the last four months with West Texas Intermediate for May delivery trading a $111.01 at 10:47 a.m. in New York. Brent for May settlement was $117.36 a barrel.