PHOENIX - Are Arizona gas prices about to go down? President Joe Biden is releasing 180 million barrels of oil over the next six months in hopes of making that happen. It's the largest release since America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created in 1974.
Experts say one million barrels a day will fill the gap created during the COVID-19 pandemic when supply and demand both went down, but you may want to pump the brakes before getting too excited about better prices at the pump.
$60, $80, $100 to fill up your tank? Arizonans have had enough.
"Before I used to put 11 gallons in my car, it was like, $30. That's a $25 difference now," said Sarhaa Azima, an Uber driver.
SUV driver Sammy Black says, "We need to get them lower than that. I don't know who we got to talk to… President Biden, what's up? Help us drop these prices, Biden."
"..the bottom line is if we want lower gas prices, we need to have more oil supply right now," said President Biden. He hears the cries for help, promising to flood the market by releasing one million barrels a day from the nation's strategic supply.
One Arizona State University economics professor calls it a good start, but a temporary fix.
"About adding one million barrels a day from the reserve. So that I can help a little bit in terms of oil prices and gasoline prices at the park," said Professor Lee McPheters.
McPheters says the U.S. uses about 20 million barrels of oil a day, but the global market is five times that at 100 million barrels a day.
"That’s gonna be a drop in the bucket for the global supply. Therefore, I would expect we’re looking at something on the range of a few cents at best."
Arizona drivers are currently paying the seventh-highest prices in the nation at $4.67 a gallon. And a price drop that's only a drop in the bucket isn't what they want to hear.
"I would like to see gas prices drop as soon as possible. Then we can get life back to normal. Because this is getting ridiculous," said Black.
There are a lot of factors in play from the pandemic to the war in Ukraine and it's unclear if domestic oil producers will ramp up production – afraid of prices dropping again, and they'll be stuck with the bill.
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