‘It’s A Band-Aid’: Biden Wants To Drain Another Emergency Fuel Supply
President Joe Biden is mulling taking action to release federal diesel stockpiles in an attempt to curb the worsening supply shortage of the key fuel in New England, CNN reported Monday.
Biden recently asked officials to begin preparing a plan to order a release of fuel from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve (NEHHOR), a government stockpile of ultra-low-sulfur diesel last tapped in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy, a senior administration official told CNN. [bold, links added]
The move reportedly reflected the president and White House officials’ concerns about surging diesel fuel prices and declining private-sector inventories in the northeast.
“The system is definitely under strain,” the senior administration official told CNN.
“We think this looks like the exact circumstance where consideration of the release should be done and that’s what the president has directed,” the official continued.
Diesel prices have been particularly high in New England where prices reached $6.43 a gallon last week, exceeded only by prices recorded in California.
Prices have surged largely due to declining East Coast diesel inventories that dipped to 21.3 million barrels in early May, the lowest level ever recorded.
The region consumes roughly 1.53 million barrels of ultra-low-sulfur diesel per day, meaning current inventory levels translate to about 13 days of supply.
The entire NEHHOR contains slightly more than a million barrels of ultra-low-sulfur diesel or about 65% of East Coast daily demand.
“It’s small potatoes. It might buy a couple of weeks or even months, but it doesn’t solve the underlying issues,” Lipow Oil Associates President Andy Lipow told CNN. “It’s a band-aid — one that isn’t going to last very long and when it comes off the injury is not healing.”
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