June 12, 2024

A gas pump

Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

The United States government is about to begin selling off a bunch of gasoline. Announced Tuesday, about 1 million barrels — the equivalent of 42 million gallons of gasoline — will be released for sale from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR). The reason why? Summer road trips.

“The Biden-Harris administration is laser focused on lowering prices at the pump for American families, especially as drivers hit the road for summer driving season,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement accompanying the announcement.“By strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4th, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most.”

The NGSR is like the crude oil-focused Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but for gasoline. “A one million barrel emergency reserve would give Northeast consumers supplemental supplies for a few days in the event of a hurricane or other disruption, until existing distribution infrastructure could return to full operation,” says the NGSR page on the Department of Energy’s website. While it’s normally saved for emergencies, this time the reserves are being tapped to tamp down gas prices ahead of the summer driving season.

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