BEAUMONT, Texas — President Joe Biden plans to "turn on the tap" and open the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. He wants to release a million barrels a day.
This move would be the largest release of US reserves in history, and the president hopes it'll lower gas prices.
The national average is 4.25 a gallon. In Texas, it's $3.86, and in Beaumont, it's a little lower at $3.82 a gallon.
One of the state's top economists is questioning the lasting impact of this plan from the president.
Texas economic analyst and president of the Perryman Group in Waco Ray Perryman said this will bring some relief at the pump for the next six months or so, but beyond that, it's tough to say.
"The world uses about 100 million barrels a day. The United States uses about 20 million of those, so this is about 5% of the U.S. daily supply. About 1% of the world supply," Perryman said.
Perryman said the president's decision will free up 180 million barrels of oil over the next six months.
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A move Perryman said will alleviate some of the pain at the pump in the short term.
"You'll see oil prices be a little bit lower. Probably in the order of about 4% or 5%, something like that. And then you'll see and with that hopefully will translate into lower gasoline prices," Perryman said.
But just how low could these gas prices go? Perryman said the decrease will be "modest."
"You may go from $4 a gallon to $3.80, $3.85,” Perryman said. “You're not likely to go from $4 a gallon to $3 a gallon, which is probably what most people would like to see."
Perryman said beyond the president's decision, there are other external factors that will determine whether gas prices continue to drop beyond the next six months.
"Things are going on with the pandemic and there's supply chain,” Perryman said. “Everyday things are happening in Europe in the situation in Ukraine. Every day global demand is fluctuating. Everyday investors are looking at the future and making different decisions about when to drill and how much to drill and how much to bring on the market."
Critics have expressed concern about the US's oil reserves being close to depleted due to Biden’s move, but Perryman said the government plans to re-purchase the oil after it's taken out of the reserves.