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by Brandon Jarvis

Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) penned a letter to President Joe Biden Monday urging him to release barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the U.S. Department of Energy’s emergency stockpile of petroleum, in an effort to try and provide relief from rising gas prices.

Russia, a provider of 11% of the world’s crude oil, has disrupted the global market by driving the price of a barrel of oil up to more than $100 with their invasion of Ukraine. The average price of oil in 2021 was $68, for comparison.

“Additional cost increases at the pump would be stressful for the families, senior citizens, and business owners I represent,” Spanberger wrote in the letter. “I respectfully urge you to release additional crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”

Biden released 50 million barrels from SPR in November to try and push prices down. The release slowly helped, mostly by keeping the price from continuing to rise, until the Russian invasion began. 

“The destabilizing actions of President Putin, manipulation of international oil supply by foreign governments and cartels, and supply chain shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have directly contributed to dramatic increases in the cost of crude oil and gasoline over the last year,” Spanberger wrote. “This price increase has not only created uncertainty in global financial markets but is already directly impacting U.S. consumers at the gas pump.” 

According to AAA, the average price of gas in Virginia on Monday is $3.44. The national average is $3.61.

“In this moment of crisis, we must demonstrate to President Putin the strength of our
resolve to continue these sanctions in response to his invasion of Ukraine, while also mitigating the
effects on Americans,” Spanberger concluded her letter.

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By vascope