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U.S. Plans To Release Oil From Reserves As Gas Prices Remain High In Massachusetts

BOSTON (CBS) -- President Biden plans to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve along the Texas and Louisiana coast in an effort to lower gas prices as Americans begin the busy Thanksgiving and holiday travel season.

CBS News reports the move is in coordination with other countries including China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

The national average cost of a gallon of gas went down a cent to $3.40 this week. In Massachusetts, gas prices are slightly higher than the nationwide average: AAA reports that the average cost of a gallon of gas in the state went up a penny from last week to $3.42.

"The price of crude oil accounts for about 50%–60% of what consumers pay at the pump, so a lower oil price could eventually translate into better gasoline prices for drivers," AAA Northeast's Mary Maguire said in a statement.

AAA predicts 1.2 million Massachusetts residents will travel for Thanksgiving. Of that, 90% are expected to drive.

For now, gas prices don't seem to be stopping drivers.

"We've seen prices go up and we've seen them come down, it will all level out in time I'm sure," said Jack Finigan.

According to CBS News, the Department of Energy will release 50 million barrels of oil from the SPR, of which 32 million will be an exchange of oil that will be returned in the years ahead, and 18 million will be the acceleration of a sale of oil previously authorized by Congress.

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