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Republicans Slam Biden For Allowing SPR Oil To Be Shipped Overseas
With oil prices near historic highs, Americans are struggling to fill their gas tanks. In March, Biden announced the release of 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
After a report came out Wednesday revealing that 5 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) had been sent to Asian and European countries, Republicans have been slamming President Biden for the mistake.
In late March, Biden announced that he was releasing 1 million barrels a day from the SPR for eight months, in an attempt to lower fuel prices for Americans that have been skyrocketing since the West issued harsh sanctions on Russia.
But, according to the report, instead of going to U.S. refineries, 5 million barrels of crude oil went to other countries, including China.
"The American people deserve answers as to why our emergency energy reserves are being sent to foreign adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party, compromising our energy security and national security," stated House Energy and Commerce Committee Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers in a statement to Fox News Digital.
Meanwhile, Michigan Representative Fred Upton, also a Republican, tweeted on Thursday that "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant for national emergencies - not policy blunders," while noting that the administration still has not answered his and McMorris Rodgers' letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm asking about how Biden's release of the SPR may be emboldening China. That letter was sent in early June, before the report of the missing 5 million barrels was released by Reuters.
"What do they have to hide?" McMorris Rodgers asked when speaking about the letter.
Instead of tapping the SPR, Republicans would prefer Biden authorize increased domestic production of oil.
"President Biden needs to remember that our strategic energy reserves are for emergencies, not to cover up bad policies. America needs to flip the switch and increase our capacity to produce and refine oil here at home," McMorris Rodgers stated. "Now is not the time to use our strategic stockpile."
The SPR is currently at its lowest level since December 1985.
"After multiple failed attempts to lower U.S. gas prices by robbing our emergency strategic petroleum reserve, will someone please inform the decision makers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that we have much larger and more strategic undeveloped energy resources that can be extracted, processed, and utilized cleaner and safer right here at home benefiting American workers and businesses?" Bruise Westerman, a Republican representative from Arkansas told Fox News Digital.
Meanwhile, U.S. crude inventories have reached their lowest levels since 2004, even as refineries are running near their peak capacity. According to Reuters, U.S. Gulf Coast refineries are running at 97.9% utilization.
At a press conference on Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she was not aware of the report. At Thursday's press conference, Jean-Pierre did not address the report but did she call Biden tapping the SPR "historic" and mentioned the administration's call to issue a holiday on federal taxes on gasoline.
[Source: By Ian DeMartino, Sputnik, 08Jul22]
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