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Press Release Published: Apr 5, 2023

Comer & Fallon: Biden Administration’s Depletion of Oil Reserves Jeopardizes American Energy Independence

To ensure U.S. energy security, lawmakers call on DOE to provide all documents related to the decision to deplete the Strategic Petroleum Reserve   

WASHINGTON — House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Chairman Pat Fallon (R-Texas) are continuing their probe into the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision to rapidly deplete the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). In a letter to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the Republican lawmakers are reiterating their request for all documents and communications related to the depletion of the SPR.    

“The unprecedented and historic decision to release over 200 million barrels from the U.S. oil stockpile reduced SPR inventories to their lowest levels since 1984. Committee Republicans are concerned the Biden Administration abused the SPR for political gain—to lower skyrocketing gas prices before the 2022 midterm election—rather than for its intended purpose of mitigating severe energy supply interruptions or fulfilling obligations to the International Energy Agency (IEA),” wrote the lawmakers. “By gutting vital fuel storage to lower short-term prices, the Biden Administration exposed the U.S. to future market volatility and increased supply dependence on adversarial nations instead of supporting an all-of-the-above energy approach to unleash American energy potential.”

The Oversight Committee recently held a hearing examining the Biden Administration’s depletion of the SPR and found that the Administration recklessly turned to the SPR in an effort to hide the failed results of an all-of-government war on the U.S. domestic energy industry. During the 117th Congress, DOE failed to provide Committee Republicans information regarding the Biden Administration’s SPR decisions on five separate occasions. On March 10, 2023, DOE provided its first briefing, but has failed to provide any requested documents or communications.

“We request documents and communications related to the Biden Administration’s depletion of the SPR,” continued the lawmakers. “To date, we have received no documents from DOE responsive to past Congressional inquiries. DOE only began looking into the nature of our requests a few weeks before the staff-level briefing this Congress. As a depleted SPR weakens the U.S.’s ability to respond to future supply disruptions, prompt delivery of the requested documents is vital to help Congress ensure U.S. energy security.”   

Read the letter to DOE Secretary Granholm here.