Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told CNN on Wednesday that releasing 15 million more barrels from the strategic oil reserves is required for the current "wartime footing."
During her appearance, the Biden administration official stated that the U.S. seeks to increase the global oil supply to bring down prices amid OPEC production cuts and limited Russian petroleum exports to Europe.
"This is a wartime footing," Granholm explained. "The president declared an emergency back in March when we first decided that we would be releasing a million barrels per day. Why is that? It's because Russia invaded Ukraine.
"Russia is a major oil producer. When they invaded Ukraine, and all these countries said they were not going to accept Russian oil, that pulled millions of barrels off the market."
Granholm also stated that the United Kingdom and European Union are taking further action "to stop the import of Russian fossil fuels," amid reports that Russian oil exports fell by 230,000 barrels per day in September as new sanctions loom.
"We have the biggest supply of any country in the world, which is our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We have over 400 million barrels in it, and we're going to do what we can to try to stabilize prices in the United States."
The Energy Department head's comments come in the wake of denunciations levied at Biden for releasing the 15 million barrels, with critics emphasizing that continuing to cut into reserves is not "a long-term solution."
"Pulling more crude from the strategic petroleum reserve will only artificially lower prices for the short term and should not be a substitute for long-term policies to increase domestic crude supplies," American Exploration and Production Council CEO Anne Bradbury stated.
The petroleum reserve "was established to reduce the impacts of short-term market disruptions, not serve as a long-term solution or tool to manipulate energy markets," she added.
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