tv Energy Secretary on Energy Costs CSPAN November 23, 2021 5:35pm-6:01pm EST
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>> the energy secretary spoke to reporters about the president's plan to release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve to help lower high gas prices ahead of the busy holiday travel season and improve the economy. from the white house briefing room, it's 20 minutes. >> top of mind is making sure every american has access to affordable energy, both at home and at the pump.
while our energy information agency, underneath the doe predicts we are going to turn the corner in 2022, the fact is right now energy prices at the pump and at home are too high. this administration realizes that people are seeing this every single day as they go to work, we also recognize who has hurt the most from this. low income families spend up to 30% of their monthly income on fuel. any price increase for them in particular causes an undue strain. to be clear, president does not control the price of gasoline. no president does. but what we are seeing is this global mismatch between supply and demand.
oil production -- this administration is leaving no stone unturned as we examine the market to figure out what is behind the high prices, and that is one of the reasons why the president sent a letter to the ftc last week to investigate why there is such a huge price difference. then the average price at the pump. he explained that in his remarks earlier, but historical averages are true, today, people would be paying $.30 less per gallon at the pump based upon the differential between unfinished gas and gasoline at the pump. he has asked for the ftc to take a look at this.
this administration is looking at every single tool to shield families from the rising cost of fuel and that is why funds are an important tool for low income assistance, the american rescue plan has additional funds to help families pay their utility bills, and of course the president today has announced he is directing the department of energy to make up to 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve available. we have been having these conversations with other major economies as you have heard, and since that has been happening, we have seen oil prices fall nearly 10%, which i think is a testament to the presidents leadership for looking at every tool possible to bring down the
price. of course, oil is traded on a global market and the more countries that can join us, the more the impact will be. in response to the president's announcement, the department of energy is moving to make two slugs of oil available. 32 million barrels through an exchange, and that means oil that is taken out today will eventually be replenished with an additional premium men that amount is returned at a later date. that is a tool that is well-suited to what we are experiencing right now which is the high cost of gasoline and knowing that over the horizon, the projections are prices and gas prices fall. bridging that time is what the spr is being used for.
that also means will be accelerating 18 million barrels from the congressional mandated sales that we are moving forward. we are taking these steps because we have to meet the immediate need of affordable energy, oil prices have not been this high in seven years. to be clear, the president is prepared to use every appropriate tool to ensure americans have access to affordable energy today. because low income families and middle-class families and working-class people are suffering the most, he wants to make sure he has a robust array of tools that he is prepared to evaluate and use them. as we look ahead, the situation shows we have to stop relying on
one source of energy. especially from volatile sources. we have a short-term issue and a long-term issue. relying on volatile sources, fuel from countries that may not have our best interests at heart hurts the american people. it is why we are looking faster than ever to diversify our energy to add more clean energy, it's why the president's vision of outsourcing is the answer. that is the best strategy long-term. the bipartisan law will expand our infrastructure related to an energy, the electric grid so we can integrate more clean sources. as you know it's going to help build a nationwide electric
vehicle charging network, help us build those electric vehicles right here at home with $7 billion for the battery supply chain. i was in chattanooga yesterday at a ribbon-cutting for a factory that is producing batteries for the electric vehicle, creating 300 jobs. that is just one tiny example of the ecosystem of the supply chain that will be created as a result of the bipartisan infrastructural law and build back better agenda. one other thing, the law invests 21 dollars in demonstration projects for technologies like clean hydrogen and advanced clear, that will put people to work in every pocket of the country. let's going to help us escape this price shock in the long
haul is the second part of the agenda, which is the build back better agenda. because the clean energy tax credits in that agenda will help americans save an estimated $9 billion per year in energy costs , it will make a lecture technologies accessible to every american, and historic investments in manufacturing and supply chains as well will put americans to work making the technology, wind, solar, the whole array of clean energy solutions. economists say these together will ease inflationary pressures and grow the economy and create 1.5 million jobs every single year. we are laser focused on ensuring these benefits are realized as we aim to achieve the biggest thing america has ever done to
address the climate crisis. our administration is deeply committed to tackling this existential threat. while making sure every american has access to affordable energy area. >> it would be helpful if you go through some of the seats that are open. >> thank you so much for doing this. [indiscernible] down from 12 million in 2019. why hasn't domestic production returned? >> this is a great question. >> we have 250 oil rigs that are functioning today than we did before the pandemic. yes, the oil and gas industry
has leases on 23 million acres of public lands on an offshore, over 9500 permits have been issued that are not being used. at the same time, the industry is making enormous profits, back to where they were before the pandemic started. they have taken advantage of that moment to engage in shareholder buybacks for example. you want to encourage them to increase supply, supply to be increased both inside the united states and around the world so we can reduce the pressures at the pump. >> you are saying -- >> have not returned to production. their 150,000 fewer workers in oil and gas today. over 200,000 people working in the industry before the pandemic.
they have not rehired people. >> as you talk about supply and demand, covid is part -- [indiscernible] covid is expected to stay. how did you marry the difference between what is happening now, covid, and trying to keep prices down? >> great question. that is why with -- today's action was so important. we recognize there will continue to be spikes. this is administration has been aggressive about getting people vaccinated and that is the ultimate answer.
as we know and as the energy information as projected, the price of gasoline will come down to below three dollars a gallon in 2022, early 2022 and continue to ratchet down. what we want to do is bridge the gap between the high prices today, try and reduce as much as we can by increasing the supply we have access to, as we move through and the market wrecks itself and hopefully increase the supply from the private sector. >> your effort is primarily targeting working at low income families. what do you say to those families who are feeling the pinch at the pump? >> no doubt, this is why the president has been thoughtful about this. we have looked at every angle. he feels so strongly that all
americans are feeling the pinch is an short-term, we have to do everything in our power, that's why we have the strategic reserve. he also feels strongly that long-term, the strategy is go clean. right now, the price for example of solar and wind is cheaper because it is free fuel. he wants to bridge that end -- on investing in clean while creating jobs, but do within we can our power. >> [indiscernible] how many barrels of oil does the u.s. consume per day? some suggest it's about 18 million which would suggest you are releasing less than three days worth from the reserve. why is that enough? >> what we are doing, we got the
lord -- largest amount of reserves, the energy information agency has said in december, this is what they have projected, probably more than an -- more of an art than a science. the price will be $3.19 and then in january continue to go down. this is a question about a short-term strategy that allows us to make this bridge. we are not going to supply all of the oil for three days, we will be releasing it over it a period of time and we will have a certain amount that each particular -- we're not saying
we are going to supply old oil. >> over several weeks? >> we are not going to release it all at once. it will be thoughtfully done. it will be dependent upon -- that takes a little bit of time today. >> sounds like you are saying [indiscernible] >> it will be over a few weeks. >> increased through the christmas season. >> we are hopeful this is increasing supply, we are hopeful there will be a leg. some of this, there has honestly been movement on oil and the price per barrel has dropped about 10% since this conversation started.
we are hopeful prices will be stabilized and start to move down. we are not saying there is going to be a dramatic difference, but we are recognizing and everyone needs to be a partner in letting people know that last year was an anomaly because demand during covid for covid -- for gasoline was so low. when demand is high, the price goes up. demand has exceeded supply and we are doing our part to make sure we can alleviate that pain. >> bottom line, how to americans see prices drop and how long to expect that to last? >> i'm not going to make a prediction. what i'm saying is this is the largest amount we have ever done, and it will happen over the next few weeks that people will hopefully start to see the difference.
>> before the christmas holiday? >> people will see some takedown. we want to make sure the gas prices at the pump are not being held artificially high for some reason. as i mentioned, it is unusual that the price of gas at the pump does not drop at the same rate as the price of unfinished gas. people would be paying $.30 less per gallon. this is why the president is sending the letter to the ftc. >> is it a short-term? should americans be bracing for prices to go down and then go back up? >> it's hard to predict what gasoline is going to do but we are doing what we can, because this is a bridge to a longer-term issue. it's a short-term pinch, we want to make sure we do what we can
to even out the market while these prices come down, and in the long term, the solution is to build clean. >> [indiscernible] >> is this like a one off, will this become policy? >> this is an unusual situation because we are coming out of a once in a century endemic. we have an unusual mismatch between supply and demand. i know the president has a lot of tools that he is looking at in those tools remain on the table, but this is an unusual situation. >> one thing you mentioned is china may do more as well. i wondered if you could illuminate what that might be. >> china will make its own announcement.
the point is the president is doing everything he can to affect the global market as well by reaching out to allies as well, and nobody is as large as the united states. >> are you concerned at all that the short-term mission -- message undermines the administration. >> the message is we are in a transition in the transition does not happen overnight. we recognize we will not flip a switch and be all clean, because we have not done the investment necessary. this is a short-term strategy to make sure people are not hurting and the long-term strategy to make sure the country fields clean. >> last one.
you mentioned the administration is considering other tools. what are the other ones being considered? >> the president has few options. he will be the one to announce. happy thanksgiving. >> a house subcommittee looked at covid-19 education relief funds and mental health priorities for kids with the deputy education secretary and undersecretary. watch tonight at 9:00 eastern and watchful coverage on c-span now. our new video cap. >> c-span's washington journal, everyday day we are taking your calls on the news of the day. we will discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning,
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