Reiterate concerns over the Department of Energy’s misuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and suppression of American energy production
WASHINGTON – Today, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Ranking Member Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), and several Oversight Committee Republicans raised serious concerns over reports indicating President Biden intends to impose an oil and gas export ban, potentially resulting in even higher gas prices, further supply chain issues, and reduced energy security for the U.S. and allies. In a letter to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the Republican lawmakers request all documents and information related to the Biden Administration’s potential plans to ban oil and gas exports, as well as the DOE’s role in the potential misuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
“The Biden Administration continues to pursue policies that suppress domestic energy production and drive fuel prices higher for consumers,” wrote the Republican lawmakers. “We are concerned that the president may soon impose an oil and gas export ban that will result in even higher gas prices, supply chain issues, global market upheaval, and reduced energy security for the U.S. and our allies. While you have not confirmed a ban will be imposed, recent reports by top officials suggest Administration interest in restricting exports of refined petroleum products. Contrary to alleviating gasoline prices at the pump, an export ban on refined petroleum products will prompt additional prices hikes and supply chain bottlenecks, costing American consumers even more money.”
On October 5, 2022, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its affiliates (OPEC+) announced their intent to cut oil production by two million barrels a day. The promise of production cutbacks amid a preexisting supply shortage will increase fuel prices, adding to the recent surges in October 2022 gasoline prices. President Biden’s effort to delay OPEC production cuts, a calculated political move ahead of U.S. elections, has failed and Russia’s ongoing push to restrict access to energy sources has now weakened America’s allies and U.S. national security.
“While Democrats blame American companies for inflated prices, years of underinvestment due to regulatory uncertainty and hostile Democrat policies are causing undersupply,” continued the Republican lawmakers. “A ban would temporarily oversaturate domestic refineries ill-prepared to process additional levels of light sweet crude since the U.S. is currently equipped to refine principally heavy crude. In addition to potentially imposing an export ban, President Biden is further depleting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve ahead of the midterm elections. But after President Biden emptied more of our vital stockpiles than all previous presidents combined, the SPR now sits at its lowest levels since establishment. Dipping further into the SPR to cover additional foreign fuel bans or price fluctuations is a short-sighted fix that would inadvertently exacerbate U.S. vulnerability.”
Read the letter here.