Senate Democrats demand Biden release oil from the Strategic Reserve

The letter notes the national average for a gallon of gas has risen 'more than $1' since this time last year

A group of Senate Democrats are demanding that President Biden release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and ban exports of U.S. crude oil.

The group of 11 Democratic Senators penned a letter to Biden asking him to take the steps to "lower U.S. gasoline prices."

"We hope you will consider these tools and others to make gasoline more affordable for all Americans," the letter reads.

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP Newsroom)

The letter was signed by Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., Robert Casey, D-Pa., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Margaret Hassan, D-N.H., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward Markey, D-Mass., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.


The letter cites AAA gas prices, noting that the national average for a gallon of gas has risen "more than $1" since this time last year. It notes that gas prices have now reached their highest since 2014, which places an "undue burden on families and small businesses trying to make ends meet."

The Democrats assure the president that they "agree" with his "recent comments at the United Nations Climate Change Conference" that the U.S. should work to "boost the development of clean and renewable energy over the long-term." But they argue that in the meantime, the administration should "ensure that Americans are able to afford to fill up their cars at the pump."

An oil pumpjack and a tank with the corporate logo of state oil company. (Reuters Photos)

Biden struck an apologetic tone at the U.N. Climate Conference last month over former President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.

"I guess I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize for the fact the United States, in the last administration, pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us sort of behind the eight ball," Biden said.

But the president promised to get the U.S. on track for American emissions reductions, calling climate change the "challenge of our collective lifetime."


Biden also called on the OPEC+ alliance to increase production, a move the Senate Democrats also signaled their support for.

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP Photo/Evan Vucci / AP Newsroom)

"We share the administration's concerns that the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others to purposefully manipulate gas prices by constraining supply, as well as the choice of domestic leaseholders and producers to continue to export U.S. petroleum, threaten to send already record prices even higher," the letter said. "Continued U.S. exports and overseas collusion could be devastating to many in our states, contributing to higher bills for Americans families and businesses."