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Tipsheet

Biden Plunges the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Into Crisis Territory

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Joe Biden is expected to announce yet another depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from the White House Wednesday afternoon under the guise it will "lower prices" for American families. 

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"The President will deliver remarks on additional actions to strengthen energy security and lower costs," the official White House schedule states. 

During Tuesday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was vague about the details of the announcement, but touted previous releases from the SPR and blamed price increases on Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Biden's latest release of reserve barrels, which are typically reserved for national emergencies or natural disasters, is a last ditch effort to save Democrats from the consequences of their war on domestic oil ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

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Biden's repeated tapping of the SPR has plunged levels to historic lows not seen since the early 1980s. The White House has been unclear about when exactly Biden plans to refill the SPR, especially given the current and expensive price of oil. 

In 2020,Democrats blocked efforts by President Donald Trump to refill the SPR when prices were low. 

"Former President Donald Trump tried to add 77 million barrels of oil to the nation's emergency cache in early 2020 — when prices were under $20 per barrel — but was blocked by congressional Democrats," Fox Business reports. "Two years later, President Biden has drained more than a third of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to help quell gas prices, raising concerns about U.S. readiness for a disaster or a war. That's leading some experts to say that preventing Trump's planned oil purchase, when oil was as low as $15 to $20, may have been a mistake." 

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Earlier this year the Biden Administration sold off a number of U.S. reserve barrels to foreign adversaries, including China. 

"More than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency oil reserves release aimed at lowering domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices touched record highs," Reuters reported. "The export of crude and fuel is blunting the impact of the moves by U.S. President Joe Biden designed to lower record pump prices."

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