Despite being the world’s top oil producer, the US is facing potential fuel shortages this winter — shortages that could push prices to new record highs. President Joe Biden is trying to fix this mess that he’s got us into, but his proposed plan could actually make things even worse.
Right now, the US has around 25 days’ supply of diesel, close to the lowest level in more than a decade. Combined with the global energy crisis, particularly in Europe, many Americans are worried that we could run out of diesel this winter. That would have catastrophic effects on supply chains, so Biden is proposing that sellers take part of their diesel supplies off the market and keep the minimum in inventory. This will allow oil companies to build up their reserves.
The problem with this strategy is that, with gas stations keeping minimal diesel stocks, that could cause a surge in demand from consumers worried about stocks running out — and that would push prices up. Diesel is selling for an average of $5.31 a gallon as of November 14, $1.58 higher than this time last year. Can drivers and truckers really afford the risk of it going even higher?