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Professor talks effects of Biden's plan to lower gas prices

Rowan University professor talks effects of President Biden's plan to lower gas prices
Rowan University professor talks effects of President Biden's plan to lower gas prices 02:26

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Gas prices dropped from the $5 peak we saw in the summer, but recent news from overseas is sending them right back up again. On Wednesday, President Biden outlined new plans to lower what you pay at the pump.

President Biden's announcement is actually linked to a commitment he made earlier this year to release an unprecedented 180 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve over a six month period. The 15 million barrel release completes that promise, but it's not clear that it will have the intended effect. 

"With my announcement today, we're going to continue to stabilize markets and decrease the prices at a time when the actions of others have caused such volatility," President Biden said. 

Russia's war in Ukraine and OPEC countries decision two weeks ago to cut crude oil production both correctly and negatively affect our prices at the pump in the United States. 

"Gas prices hit almost every family and they squeeze their family budgets," President Biden said. 

CBS3 spoke to Rowan University associate professor of economics, Dr. Stuti Jha, about the release and its potential effects.

"Anything that can help to lower inflation will absolutely welcome policy change," Dr. Jha said. 

Now, we should mention that the United States consumes nearly 20 million barrels of oil a day and you may have heard that the midterm elections are less than three weeks away, which makes this all appear politically motivated. President Biden disagrees.

"It's not politically motivated at all," President Biden said. 

Dr. Jha isn't sure if it is or isn't, but she does have an opinion.

"It is possible that this is a way to give them a boost again right before the election, but just because it is politically motived does not mean it's bad overall for the economy and for the people," Dr. Jha said. 

She adds that for the greatest possible effect, U.S. oil companies will also have to ramp up production.

"If we compliment it with domestic production right now, that would be very helpful," Dr. Jha said. 

In a new CBS News poll, 65% of registered voters believe the economy is getting worse and 45% say President Biden is responsible for those economic conditions, so this may be his latest response to those voters

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