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The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for National Emergencies, Not Falling Poll Numbers

Oct 19, 2022 by AFP

Arlington, VA- Today, in response to surging gas prices and recent news that OPEC+ nations planned to cut oil production, President Biden announced the release of another 15 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve, leaving room for the potential of more drawdowns as winter approaches. Americans for Prosperity has consistently criticized tapping into the strategic reserve, arguing that the Biden administration is putting politics ahead of our ability to respond in the event of an actual crisis.

AFP Regulatory Policy Fellow Marc Marie issued the following statement on the administration’s latest action and how the Strategic Production Response Act would prevent the emergency reserve from being used as a political lifeline by future administrations:

“The Biden administration has again decided to drain our strategic reserve in a futile effort to beat the OPEC cartel at its own game. The average cost of gasoline remains near $4 a gallon, despite the administration siphoning from the reserve in this manner for nearly six months. The ‘Strategic Production Response Act’ would prevent this abuse and misuse of resources from happening again. This bill provides necessary checks and balances on the use of the Strategic Petroleum reserve ensuring domestic security and stability with a robust and healthy reserve.”

Background:

“The Strategic Production Response Act” was introduced to protect the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from misuse. The bill prohibits the Secretary of Energy from tapping the reserve for reasons other than a severe emergency. It also requires that the federal government has a plan in place to increase oil and gas production on federal land and waters before tapping the reserve. The bill aims to prevent any administration from draining the reserve for political reasons.

Instead of continuing to put our economy and national security at risk, AFP urges the administration to embrace an all-of-the-above energy abundance approach that embraces our country’s vast resources – both traditional oil and gas, as well as renewable and alternative. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for national security and emergency situations, not because this administration’s own policies have made America dependent on OPEC.