President Joe Biden mishandled America’s strategic oil reserves in a failed effort to lower gasoline prices by a few cents per gallon, and now Republicans want a plan to replenish the stores lost to the blatantly partisan use of a national security tool.
Rather than address the underlying causes of high gasoline prices, Biden released 50 million barrels—enough to supply the United States for about two days—from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., on Dec. 9 introduced legislation, the Strategic Production Response Act or H.R.6235, to refill the stores with more American oil production, according to House Rules Republicans.
FLOOR ALERT: @HouseDemocrats refused @HouseGOP requests to consider legislation requiring the Administration to boost domestic production on federal lands if our strategic petroleum reserves are misused for non-emergency reasons – like @POTUS did just before Thanksgiving. pic.twitter.com/jCJtoP6Fh5
— House Rules Republicans (@RulesReps) December 14, 2021
“Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not supposed to be a piggy bank to cover up for the failed policies of the Biden administration, yet that’s what they’ve done,” said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who has co-sponsored the bill.
Biden has refused to loosen his stranglehold on American oil production.
“And, by the way, when President Biden goes and begs OPEC and Russia to produce more oil, how about we start here at home, where we’ve actually got a surplus?,” Scalise asked.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who co-sponsored the legislation, discussed the Biden administration’s ability to quickly squander the nation’s energy independence.
“Before this president came into office, the US was more energy secure than ever before,” he said. “Energy prices were low, stable. Manufacturing was coming back to the US after decades of offshoring. Today, America’s energy security is under siege by President Biden and the Democrats.”
Democrats, appealing to abstract theories about the global climate, blocked the legislation.
The SPR has 598.9 million barrels, which could supply the nation for about 30 days in crises, such as domestic convulsions, foreign attacks, or widespread natural disasters.
Biden improperly used the SPR as a tool for price regulation, rather than as a means to secure the nation against imminent energy collapse.
Biden and Congress have steadily dwindled the SPR to fund the bloated federal government, with reserves on track to fall to 410 million barrels by 2028. The tanks can hold 714 million barrels.