Breaking News

Fact check: Price of oil has not more than doubled during Biden presidency

  | USA TODAYplay

Show Caption

Hide Caption

Millions in Texas lose power during winter storm

More than 4 million people across Texas are without power. Two people are dead likely because of the subfreezing temperatures. (Feb. 16)

AP

The claim: The price of oil was around $25 a barrel when President Joe Biden was sworn in and is now $61 a barrel.

The price of a barrel of oil has increased since President Joe Biden took up residence in the White House, but not as dramatically as some social media users would have you think.

In a Facebook post on Feb. 14, one user claimed that oil had hit $61.30 a barrel, up from $25 a barrel “the day Joe took office.”

“Everyone awake yet,” the user asked. The post has over 5,700 shares.

The user did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More: Fact check: Photo of Joe Biden with stacks of executive orders on Resolute desk is altered

Oil prices rising, but not so fast

Oil prices are indeed on the rise. This week, the cost of oil is increasing because of an arctic blast that has prodded demand for fuel and put production at risk in Texas, where cold temperatures spurred rolling blackouts, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The cost of oil had spiked to near a 13-month high, according to Yahoo! News.

Two forms of crude oil are used as a benchmark for other forms: Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate. Brent crude is extracted from the North Sea region, while U.S. oil producers pull West Texas Intermediate from Texas and southern Oklahoma.

On Feb. 18, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at about $61.59 a barrel, and Brent crude was up to $64.74, according to OilPrice.com.

While that is up from Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, oil was trading for more than double the $25 a barrel, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. On Jan. 20, Brent crude cost $55.66 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate cost $53.16 a barrel.

Neither benchmark has traded for about $25 since May, when prices were on the rebound after cratering during the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oil prices fluctuate based on global supply and demand, according to the Energy Information Administration, but economic growth, production targets for countries in the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, geopolitical events and the weather all can contribute to changes.

Our ruling: False

The claim that oil prices had jumped from about $25 a barrel when Joe Biden became president to more than $61 a barrel now is FALSE. While prices have increased since Jan. 20, crude oil already was trading at more than $53 a barrel at that time.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

Facebook Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *