The Election Is Coming! It’s Time for Biden to Raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve!

News & Politics

The Biden administration revealed on Tuesday that it plans to offload 1 million barrels of gasoline from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It’s bad enough that this is happening again, but this time, the White House is not even trying to hide its true intentions. The Energy Department made it clear that this move is all about trying to keep gas prices down during the summer driving season, which conveniently also happens to be just before the November election.

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“The Biden-Harris Administration is laser-focused on lowering prices at the pump for American families, especially as drivers hit the road for summer driving season,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “By strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4th, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most.”

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According to the New York Post, this fuel release will come from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve, a component of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that the Department of Energy created in 2014 after Superstorm Sandy.

Critics including congressional Republicans slammed Biden’s move as an attempt to buy votes — after making similar allegations about Biden’s attempt to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in federally owned student loan debt in the runup to the election.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) accused Biden of “yet again using America’s emergency fuel reserves to cover for his disastrous inflationary policies in an election year.”

“Releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from the Northeast reserve is a desperate move by Joe Biden to lower prices that HE raised,” tweeted Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).”This reserve is meant for emergencies, not as a cover-up for Biden’s failed economic policies.”

Skeptics noted that the complete draining of the Northeast reserve, which was authorized in a March government spending bill, was unlikely to significantly impact prices — which currently average $3.60 per regular gallon, up from roughly $2.38 when Biden took office and $3.54 at this time last year, according to AAA data.

The US used about 8.94 million barrels of gasoline per day as of 2023, according to the US Energy Information Administration, meaning that Tuesday’s release would cover fewer than three hours of average US consumption.

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Biden has depleted about 43% of the crude oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to try to lower prices.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists to buffer against disruptions in oil supplies and safeguard national energy security during crises like natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, or major disruptions in oil production; however, Joe Biden has used it exclusively for political purposes. He previously raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve ahead of the 2022 midterm elections to bring prices down before the elections and help the Democrats after he failed to pressure OPEC to increase production. His raid in 2020 drained the reserves to their lowest levels since the 1980s. 

Since Biden took office, energy costs have risen 38%, including a 30% increase in electricity prices. Overall consumer costs have climbed 20%, which, of course, is a problem for his reelection campaign. Democrats have sought to blame COVID-19 supply chain issues, the Russia-Ukraine war, and Big Oil as the culprits.

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