Part of Biden’s concern is that high prices have not so far coaxed a meaningful jump in oil production. The planned release is a way to increase supplies as a bridge until oil companies ramp up their own production, with administration officials estimating that domestic production will grow by 1 million barrels daily this year and an additional 700,000 barrels daily in 2023.

President Joe Biden is ordering the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve for six months, the White House said Thursday, in a bid to control energy prices that have spiked after the United States and allies imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, AP reports.

The White House said Biden wants Congress to impose financial penalties on oil and gas companies that lease public lands but are not producing. He also intends to invoke the Defense Production Act to encourage the mining of critical minerals for batteries in electric vehicles, part of a broader push to shift toward cleaner energy sources and reduce the use of fossil fuels.

The actions show that oil remains a vulnerability for the U.S. Higher prices have hurt Biden’s approval domestically and added billions of oil-export dollars to the Russian government as it wages war on Ukraine.

Tapping the stockpile would create pressures that could reduce oil prices, though Biden has twice ordered releases from the reserves without causing a meaningful shift in oil markets.

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