The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was set up as an emergency source of oil to keep supplies flowing in the event of unexpected disruptions. It’s not just designed “for when we get attacked and need the fuel to keep our Air Force in the air,” as social media posts falsely claim.
Former President Donald Trump said he had gotten the U.S. to a point where “we didn’t need the Middle East” for “energy.” And now, he said, “we’re going back to them asking them for help.” But the U.S. has continued to import a smaller amount of its petroleum from the Middle East under President Joe Biden.
Eric Trump misleadingly claimed on social media that gasoline was $5 per gallon “under O’Biden,” but “unbelievably good” during his father’s administration. The average retail price of gasoline while Barack Obama was president was $2.97. The average price under President Donald Trump has been $2.49, which includes lower prices due to the pandemic.
With gasoline prices plummeting, President Trump gave himself a third-person pat on the back via Twitter: “thank you President T.” Energy experts say the decline is largely motivated by market forces outside the president’s control. But experts attribute at least part of the drop to the administration’s decision to soften Iran sanctions.