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Tipsheet

Biden to Keep Draining Strategic Oil Reserve After OPEC Embarrasses Him Again

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — OPEC+ — has, once again, delivered an embarrassing blow to the Biden administration and its ability to use the United States' influence to sway its decisions.

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After previewing its plans to cut production by one million barrels of oil per day, the White House claimed it was engaged in a "last-ditch effort" to talk OPEC+ down from its proposal as gas prices in the United States had already reversed a dip to move upward in the last two weeks. 

On Wednesday, OPEC+ announced that, despite Biden's begging, they were in fact going to cut oil production. But instead of just reducing output by one million barrels per day, they announced that they would reduce production by *two* million barrels per day. 

The embarrassment mirrors Biden's previous fruitless attempts to convince OPEC+ to increase production — which were met with flat rejections.

OPEC's decision is unsurprising given its previous snubbing of Biden's pleas, and because the Biden administration's energy "transition" — that is, the killing of America's energy independence — means OPEC knows the U.S. doesn't have a choice but to import oil. The Biden administration's pledge to "end oil and gas" means that OPEC doesn't have to worry that the U.S. will increase production and export excess supplies to dilute OPEC's influence, and America's options are limited for importing enough oil and gas to maintain supplies. 

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In response to their latest embarrassment on the world stage (again) to OPEC, the White House announced that Biden would continue dipping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that's already at historic lows.

As of September 30, the SPR 416.4 million barrels of oil — a mix of sweet and sour — remaining after Biden tapped more than 177 million barrels of oil from America's emergency reserves in the first nine months of 2022. 

Now, Biden is moving to tap even more strategic oil in another last-ditch effort to keep gas prices from spiking in the final weeks before November's midterm elections — and lying about the impact of Biden's policies on energy prices so far.

"The President's work here at home, and with allies around the world, has helped to bring down U.S. gas prices," the White House claimed on Wednesday — despite the fact that the national average price for a gallon of unleaded hit its all-time high over the summer. And, despite dipping from the historic highs, gas prices have again been trending upward for the last two weeks as supply out west runs dry.

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To continue its frantic efforts to tamp down gas prices to save Democrats on the ballot in November, the White House said Biden has directed the release of another "10 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve next month" — something the White House said on Tuesday wasn't being considered. 

As of the end of September, Biden had reduced the Strategic Petroleum Reserve stock to its lowest level since June 1984. 

Biden also, after declaring war on their source of revenue (reliable and affordable fossil fuels from domestic production), sought to blame any price increases that result from his anti-energy policies on oil and gas companies:

The President is also calling on U.S. energy companies to keep bringing pump prices down by closing the historically large gap between the wholesale and retail gas prices -- so that American consumers are paying less at the pump.

Laughably, the White House also promised that the Biden administration "will also consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC's control over energy prices." If Biden wanted to reduce OPEC's control over energy prices...he could start by fast-tracking drilling permits and infrastructure such as the Keystone Pipeline, incentivize domestic oil and gas production, and stop using federal bureaucracy to demonize and regulate American oil and gas out of business.

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The U.S. Oil and Gas Association, fed up with the Biden administration's attempts to talk out both sides of its mount when it comes to energy, slammed the White House:

Without taking action to open up American energy production and steer the U.S. toward energy independence, the White House's statements are useless blather aimed at trying to step GOP wins in the midterms. The SPR is lower than it's been in decades, gas prices are already trending back upward, and there's no relief in sight for Americans whose energy bills have skyrocketed under Biden's "build back better" policies. Not that Biden will ever accept responsibility for it.  

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