The U.S. government will release 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic petroleum reserve on to the market in an attempt to bring down the price of crude and gasoline.
The White House said Tuesday that the Department of Energy will release millions of barrels of stockpiled oil to “address the mismatch between demand … and supply.”
The U.S. strategic petroleum reserve currently holds more than 600 million barrels of crude in stockpile to ensure supply during unexpected natural disasters or other national security events.
The reserves are stored in caverns created in salt domes along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts.
More than 32 million barrels will be released in the next few months, while the other 18 million will be an acceleration of the release of barrels that had already been planned beyond that.
“As we come out of an unprecedented global economic shutdown, oil supply has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “This action underscores the president’s commitment to using the tools available to bring down costs for working families and to continue our economic recovery.”