As gas prices remain stubbornly high before the midterms, President Joe Biden called on American companies to increase domestic oil production and unveiled a series of measures aimed at bringing down costs at the pump.
“They’re not falling fast enough. Families are hurting,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “You’ve heard me say it before, but I get it.”
Biden said “we need to responsibly increase American oil production without delay or deferring our transition to clean energy.”
Biden urged companies to produce more now, knowing the U.S. will buy the barrels later when prices drop to what the White House projects could be $70/BBL.
Biden also announced he’s releasing 15 million barrels of oil from the nation’s emergency reserves, completing his March directive to release 180 million barrels throughout the year.
In a push to strengthen energy independence at home, Biden also launched a new initiative to boost the production of critical minerals used in batteries for electric vehicles, as well as laptops and smartphones. The Biden administration awarded $2.8 billion in federal infrastructure grants to 12 manufacturing companies with plans to produce lithium and other minerals critical for batteries.
Efforts come as Biden faces increasing pressure to find answers to lower gas prices that have flatted after decreasing over the late summer. It has strengthened headwinds for Democrats as they look to hold onto power of the Senate and House in next month’s midterm elections.
President Joe Biden said the United States is bringing back manufacturing “in a big way” after announcing a new federal initiative to accelerate the production of critical minerals for batteries.
“Where in heck is it written that we can’t be a manufacturing hub of the world?” Biden said Wednesday when announcing the new initiative.