Former President Donald Trump blasted President Joe Biden’s Tuesday announcement of the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as the White House seeks to fight soaring gas prices.
Following a White House statement on the plan that also said the president “stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply,” Trump described the move to dip into the emergency stockpile as an “attack” on the strategic oil reserve.
“For decades our country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no president wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low,” Trump said in a statement. “Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else.”
Trump added: “Now I understand that Joe Biden will be announcing an ‘attack’ on the newly brimming Strategic Oil Reserves so that he could get the close to record-setting high oil prices artificially lowered.”
Trump noted that the U.S. was “energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves.”
“Is this any way to run a country?” Trump asked.
According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.40 as of Tuesday, nearly $1.30 more than it was one year ago. The cost at the pumps is at the highest level since 2014.
Biden’s move comes after 11 Senate Democrats called on the president to lower gas prices by taking oil from the national reserve and banning exports of crude to keep historically high prices from creeping up further.
House Democrats sent a similarly worded letter to Biden on Monday, CNN reported.
"We must use all tools at our disposal to bring down gasoline prices in the short term," said the letter. It also urged Biden to make available “affordable and reliable energy for American families."