President BidenJoe BidenRittenhouse says Biden defamed his character when he linked him to white supremacists Man charged with threatening Congress sentenced to 19 months in prison 91 House Democrats ask Senate to expand immigration protections in the U.S. bill Biden expenses PLUS, in comments Tuesday on rising costs for goods and gas this Thanksgiving, argued in an optimistic tone that the economy is ready for Christmas fever.
The president said that high gasoline prices are a problem in the United States and around the world. But he touted the Department of Energy’s release of 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SRP), which the White House announced Tuesday.
“This is a problem, not just here in the United States, but around the world,” Biden said in remarks at the White House, referring to the record cost of gas in Europe and Asia.
He pointed to recent spikes in gasoline prices, including those in 2012, 2014 and 2019.
“The fact is, we always get over those peaks, but we’re going to get over this one and hopefully faster,” he said.
Of the 50 million barrels that are released from the SPR, 32 million will eventually be returned to you in the next few years once fuel prices drop again in an attempt to ensure that the reserve remains in storage. Another 18 million barrels will be released as an acceleration of an oil sale that Congress had already authorized.
The announcement was made in concert with India, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom, all of which agreed to release oil from their own reserves. Biden said he brought those countries together, adding that “China can do more too.”
Biden has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the oil and gas industry acted in any illegal or anti-competitive way that could result in higher gas prices for consumers. He also called the attribution of his administration’s environmental measures a “myth.”
“My effort to combat climate change is not increasing the price of gas,” he said.
Biden was generally positive about the economy heading into Thanksgiving and said Americans should “rest easy” about getting food and gifts for their families.
The holiday shopping season, which begins unofficially on Black Friday, will be a major test for Biden’s economy and his recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retailers and manufacturers are bracing for increased shopping and travel after three straight months of mounting pressure on supply lines, and Republicans are more than willing to accuse Biden of ruining the holidays if products don’t they move smoothly.
“Moms and dads are worried, they ask if there will be enough food we can buy for the holidays, if we can get the Christmas gifts to the children on time, and if so, if they will cost me an arm and a leg.” Biden said in his comments Tuesday.
“All these concerns a few weeks ago, there wouldn’t be enough food available for Thanksgiving, so a lot of people talked about it in an understandable way. But families can rest easy. The grocery stores are well stocked with turkey and everything you need for Thanksgiving and the major retailers I mentioned have confirmed that their shelves will be well stocked in stores this holiday season, “he added.
He outlined the administration’s port action plan, noting that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are moving to 24/7 service, and said he has been meeting with the CEOs of Walmart, Target, Home Depot and TJ. Maxx, all of whom have agreed to move products more quickly.
There has been a 33 percent reduction in containers blocking movement at ports, according to the president. Shipping prices are down 25 percent as well.
“This Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for. Vaccines that are effective, safe, and free. Promising new treatments that provide hope that we can end the worst tragedies of this crisis. Record job growth, the strongest recovery in the world, and most of all, a chance to be together again with the people we love on Thanksgiving, ”he said.
The president’s comments on the economy follow his announcement Monday that he would rename Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to continue in office as the United States faces challenges on the path to full economic recovery. He also selected Fed Governor Lael Brainard to serve as vice president.