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President Biden tapping into Strategic...

President Biden tapping into Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease prices, raising ire of Republicans

By: Anne Summerhays - November 23, 2021

Republicans point to Biden’s war on American energy which makes nation less safe, more dependent.

Today, President Joe Biden announced his plan to have the Department of Energy release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to lower gas and oil prices for Americans.

The White House says the Biden Administration’s announcement to tap the strategic reserve is part of a global effort from energy-consuming nations to curb rising fuel prices. The U.S., India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom have coordinated concurrent releases.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a complex of four locations that stockpile emergency oil in deep underground storage caverns created in salt domes along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts.

A total of 50 million barrels will be released from the SPR by the U.S. Of the 50 million barrels, 32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months. The other 18 million of these barrels will be an acceleration of a previously authorized sale.

The average gas price in Mississippi is over $3.00 per gallon, at $3.02 as of today. In California, it sits at $4.69. According to AAA, the nation’s average gas price per gallon has reached $3.40.

Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker says President Biden tapping the nation’s strategic reserve rather than ending  “his war on American energy” is putting a Band-Aid on a wound Biden created.

Fellow Magnolia State Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith tweeted her disdain for the Biden Administration’s move, calling it “short-sighted and inadequate.”

“To truly help our nation, the White House needs to reverse the policies that put our energy security at risk,” Hyde-Smith tweeted.

Last week, Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) and other Republicans sent a letter to the Biden Administration opposing the White House’s move to use the SPR to curb rising gas prices. The Representatives proposed an alternative strategy to releasing the oil reserves: increasing domestic oil production.

The Congressmen stated that it would be in the country’s best interest to reopen oil and gas production on federal lands, which would equate to a 20% increase in our domestic oil production. If reserves from the SPR were withdrawn that are currently priced at $29/per barrel and forced to replace them at a cost of over $80/per barrel (and growing), it would create an “economic nightmare” for taxpayers.

“Resorting to withdrawals from the SPR only postpones reality and creates larger economic concerns for the future,” the House members wrote. “At a time when we will undoubtably have harsh winter storms and hurricanes, along with an uncertain global geopolitical environment, future withdrawals from the SPR may be urgently needed. We must ensure the SPR is fully stocked and able to protect Americans the way it was intended to.”

The Republicans state that the country must continue to reserve the world’s largest supply of emergency crude for national emergencies that cannot otherwise be prevented.

Read the full letter from the Congressmen to the Biden Administration below:

House Republican letter to White House regarding SPR by yallpolitics on Scribd

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth.