WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBW) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the Biden Administration to dip into the United States' petroleum reserve to alleviate the country's soaring gas prices ahead of the holiday season.
Currently, the national average price for gas is $3.42 per gallon, remaining unchanged from last week. But one year ago, gas cost an average of $2.13 per gallon.
Gas costs even more across New York state, with the state average coming in at $3.56 per gallon. And the prices around Western New York aren't much better, sitting at $3.47 per gallon in the Buffalo area and $3.45 around Batavia.
According to the Energy Information Administration, domestic gasoline stocks continue to drop but the demand for gas has also dropped. But AAA of Western and Central New York says the prices will remain high due to crude oil prices hovering around $80 per barrel.
Sen. Schumer says tapping into the more than 600 million barrels of petroleum in the nation's strategic reserve would provide some temporary and more immediate relief to Americans ahead of the holiday travel season.
"The plan is not a cure-all, because we also need a real solution to this problem of price shocks from wildly fluctuating fossil fuels," Sen. Schumer said. "But it can help ease prices ahead of holiday travel.”
He added that if Washington implemented parts of the Build Back Better Act — which includes provisions to make electric cars cheaper than gas-powered cars — it would provide longer-term solutions for American consumers.