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As gas prices hit a seven-year high this week and some analysts warn of more peaks to come, the Biden administration may need to take extreme measures to ease the crisis, including releasing reserves. emergency oil.

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This is one of the options “under consideration,” US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in an appearance Wednesday at the Financial Times’ summit on energy transition strategies.

The United States could also consider banning crude oil exports to boost domestic supply, Granholm added.

The fact that the administration has even considered releasing emergency reserves – officially known as the Strategic Oil Reserve – speaks to the urgency of the current oil and gas crisis.

Gasoline prices in the United States jumped to $ 3.21 per gallon this week, Fox Business reported, which is their highest level since 2014. Prices could reach $ 3.30 per gallon by now At the end of October, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told Fox Business.

Meanwhile, oil prices hit their highest level in three years this week after OPEC + decided not to increase oil production by more than 400,000 barrels a day in November, CNBC reported. OPEC + is the cartel made up of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as allies like Russia. The cartel has been urged by the United States, India and other countries to add additional supplies after oil prices soared 50% this year.

With its options exhausted, the United States may have no choice but to release its own emergency oil reserves. As Fox Business noted, the last time this happened was ten years ago, when the Obama administration sold 30 million barrels of crude oil to ease price pressures. after the unrest in Libya disrupted global supplies.

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According to the Energy Ministry website, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is “the world’s largest reserve of emergency crude oil. It was created to reduce the impact of petroleum product supply disruptions and to help the United States meet its obligations under the international energy program.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: US plans to release oil reserves to fight inflation

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