FirstFT: US turns to emergency oil reserves to contain soaring fuel prices

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US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has raised the possibility of releasing crude oil from the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saying “all the tools are on the table” as the Biden administration faces a politically perilous surge in the price of gasoline.

With an average gasoline pump price hovering at $ 3.19 per gallon – the highest in seven years – the White House fears rising fuel costs could hurt its political outlook ahead of the mid-election. term of office next year.

“It is a tool that is under consideration,” Granholm said of a release of crude supplies from the National Strategic Oil Reserve, which analysts say could calm oil markets and lower oil prices. price.

Granholm also did not rule out a ban on crude oil exports. “It is a tool that we have not used, but it is also a tool”, she declared Wednesday during the FT summit on energy transition strategies.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, located near the Gulf of Mexico, is the largest emergency stockpile of crude oil in the world. Managed by the US Department of Energy, the reserve contained 617.8 million barrels of oil last week, about a month of demand for petroleum products in the United States.

The last big release came in 2011, when the Obama administration worked with other members of the International Energy Agency to tap emergency stocks to reduce the price spike. Congress also authorized periodic sales to increase government revenue.

U.S. crude oil exports have been unlimited since Congress lifted federal restrictions in 2015.

The price of US crude stood at around $ 77.60 a barrel on Wednesday afternoon, reaching its highest level since 2014. It rose alongside the prices of other commodities, raising fears that energy inflation could block a post-pandemic global economic recovery.

Read more

Energy crisis: Gas markets swung sharply on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was ready to stabilize soaring global energy prices that threaten to dampen industrial activity and sharply increase inflation.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here is the rest of today’s news – Leart

Five other articles in the news

1. The billionaire Dubai ruler targeted his ex-wife with spyware Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum targeted the phone of his ex-wife, Princess Haya, with military-grade spyware during a court battle in London over their two children, a judge has found. High Court.

2. Taiwan warns that China may invade by 2025 Chiu Kuo-cheng, Taiwan’s defense minister, warned that China would be fully capable of invading the island within five years, in the government’s first clear message to the public that the country faces a threat of war.

Chiu Kuo-cheng told parliament that the Taiwanese military must “strengthen our capabilities quickly” © AFP via Getty Images

3. NATO expels 8 Russians for espionage NATO has expelled eight “undeclared intelligence officers” from the Russian delegation to the military alliance and halved the total size of Moscow’s representation, which will further deteriorate relations between the Western military and the Kremlin.

4. Amazon Wins Record US Tax Breaks Amazon has won a record number of tax breaks this year as local authorities try to lure the online shopping giant to expand its overnight or same-day delivery networks in their regions. According to data from Good Jobs First, Amazon has so far secured around $ 650 million in sweeteners from local and state governments in 2021.

5. Mitch McConnell Offers Compromise to Avoid US Debt Ceiling Crisis The Senate’s top Republican offered Democrats two ways to avoid a debt limit crisis, a rare olive branch in a long-standing deadlock that has scared American investors and businesses alike.

Coronavirus digest

  • The Biden administration will invest an additional $ 1 billion in Covid-19 testing as part of its ongoing efforts to keep the pandemic under control.

  • New Zealand raised interest rates for the first time in seven years as concerns about rising house prices and inflation outweigh the importance of the Pacific nation’s battle to control the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Janan Ganesh: The acceptance of vaccinations and mandates shows that even in populist times voters want to be led.

The day to come

Speech by the Governor of the BoC Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, will speak to the Council on Foreign Relations on Thursday.

Who will win the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature? Sweden is expected to announce the winner on Thursday, followed by peace on Friday and the economy on Monday.

What else we read and listen to

The economic threats of the Chinese real estate bubble The Chinese population is aging and 60% of it is already urbanized. All of this signals that the real estate boom must end, writes Martin Wolf.

Rising investments and falling growth mean falling returns.  Graph showing fixed investment as% of GDP, growth of GDP (%) and the averages of differential capital production ratios for the previous three years

We need to talk about Squid Game The hit Korean series is fast becoming Netflix’s most popular show, but it exposes hard truths about human behavior, writes Fani Papageorgiou.

A scene from the hit Korean Netflix series “Squid Game” © Youngkyu Park

Trade or game? Struggling day traders are increasingly turning to gambling hotlines as mobile brokerage apps blur the line between investing and online sports betting, a problem that has attracted the attention of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

From Panama to Pandora papers This week’s briefing on the financial affairs of the rich and powerful, dubbed the Pandora Papers, highlights the progress made since the world began tackling offshore tax evasion in 2008. Global tax correspondent Emma Agyemang explain why.

Will American Drivers Go Electric? Ford’s F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling car in the United States for the past four decades. America’s most iconic vehicle is now going electric, but will American drivers embrace the new technology like Asian and European consumers? This is the last part of our electric vehicle revolution series.

Would you buy an electric vehicle? Do you already have one? Tell us in our latest survey.

The small fund that faced an American giant and won In the third episode of our five-part special on sustainable investing or ESG, Charlie Penner of Engine No 1 talks about the public proxy campaign he launched against ExxonMobil, which forced the oil major to prepare for a future without fossil fuels.

To travel

Greenland, Baffin Base Camp, and Georgia are three of the most adventurous destinations ski enthusiasts head to this winter. Oh, and there is Uzbekistan. Could this Central Asian country be the next big ski event?

The death of former President Islam Karimov in 2016 opened Uzbekistan to foreign investment and tourists, including heli-skiers © Tristan Kennedy

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