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Strategic Petroleum Reserves for Emergencies, not Incompetence

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April 5, 2022

Biden’s plan to release an additional 180m barrels of oil over the next six months reeks of desperation as his administration begins to feel the impact of his incompetent energy policies. This is the largest release in history and will do significant damage to our capacity to weather a real crisis.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) was signed into law in 1975 by President Ford. It was created in direct response to the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 as a hedge against supply shocks and price manipulation by anti-American countries. The SPR has a capacity of 714 million barrels. Biden already released 50m barrels in November 2021, so as of December 2021, the SPR stood at 593.6m barrels. Last month, Biden released another 30m barrels in response to skyrocketing gas prices and the war in Ukraine. Biden’s newest plan is to release 1m barrels of oil per day for 180 days.

Russian President Putin makes an easy scapegoat to blame rising gas prices on, but that is only a small part of the story. President Biden has made it exceptionally clear in all his policies and conversations about energy in the United States that oil and coal are finished. His rhetoric has had a chilling effect on oil and gas exploration and production. No rational company will expend millions of dollars to increase efforts when the President of the United States is telling them they will not have the support of the country. Now, with Russian oil no longer on the menu for the U.S., domestic energy producers are understandably gun-shy about committing resources that will be targeted as soon as the Biden-created crisis is over.

Biden’s attacks on the only energy industries we have that produce reliable, inexpensive energy (you know – to charge up all those electric cars) include increased regulations, higher fees for drilling on federal land, suspension of new federal leases, cancelation of the Keystone Pipeline and an overall anti-oil atmosphere in Washington D.C.

Biden’s policies are making no one happy. Leftists want Biden to use the current energy crisis to push the United States fully into a renewable energy-only position and completely dismantle the oil and coal industries. They are not happy that he is going to release one-third of the SPR – they would prefer to stop using oil entirely.

Conservatives are upset with Biden for choosing to buy oil from totalitarian regimes such as Iran (our enemy) and Venezuela. Rather than re-establishing our energy independence by making domestic production more effective, President Biden prefers to financially support those countries. Apparently, the Biden administration is only concerned about the environmental impact of oil exploration and production on American shores.

Releasing 180m barrels of the SPR stockpile will reduce our stockpile by one-third (more than that if you count the 80m barrels already released). This amount – although significant – will only cover approximately 5% of our usage. Clearly, the Biden administration is hoping for gas prices to come down in time for the mid-terms. The SPR will release the oil starting May 1 for 180 days – stopping just before the November elections.

Could this release possibly be nothing more than a political ploy to make people forget Biden’s leftist policies of pain? Prognosticators predict an immediate reversal of any positive moves in the energy sectors once the November elections are over.

The SPR is for catastrophic oil disruptions – not political gamesmanship from an incompetent or malicious (take your pick) president. -30-

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