President Biden announced last Thursday that the government would release 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the span of six months, averaging around 1 million barrels a day. This move is part of the administration’s efforts to address rising oil prices on the back of inflation due to the war in Ukraine.

“This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply until production ramps up later this year. And it is by far the largest release from our national reserve in our history,” the President said.

According to Biden, there are two roots to the skyrocketing gas prices. First was the pandemic, which shot down the demand for oil, causing production to go down worldwide. After things began to open up, oil demand rebounded much faster than the supply.

“The second root is Vladimir Putin,” said Biden. Gas prices hovered at around $3.30 a gallon at the beginning of the year and rose by almost a dollar to $4.20 in less than three months, according to the President.

“Our prices are rising because of Putin’s actions. There isn’t enough supply,” he explained. “And the bottom line is: If we want lower gas prices, we need to have more oil supply right now.”

The White House says the decision was made in close coordination with US allies, including countries in Europe. There has been no official confirmation whether these countries will tap their own reserves, but Biden said he expects them to release 30 to 50 million barrels combined.

Biden also intends to use the revenue from the release to restock the reserves once prices begin to settle. This could potentially provide incentives to increase production in the future.