Top Republicans Accuse Biden of Using Oil Reserves to Lower Gas Prices Before Election


Two leading Republicans in the energy sector, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), criticized the Biden administration for allegedly misusing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for political purposes.

In a letter addressed to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce chairwoman and Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ranking member expressed their concerns about the Biden administration’s handling of the SPR.

“We write with concerns about the Biden administration’s mismanagement of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR),” they stated. “The SPR is a strategic national asset that is intended to be used in times of national emergencies, such as wars and natural disasters.”

President Joe Biden announced last week the release of one million barrels of gasoline to “reduce prices at the pump” ahead of the Fourth of July. The White House announcement noted that this release from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve builds on Biden’s earlier releases from the SPR.

The Department of Energy states that the SPR was “established primarily to reduce the impact of disruptions in supplies of petroleum products and to carry out obligations of the United States under the international energy program,” and that “SPR oil is sold competitively when the President finds, pursuant to the conditions set forth in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), that a sale is required.”

The Republican leaders continued, accusing Biden of releasing the gasoline to lower gas prices.

“Under the Biden administration, the SPR has been abused for political purposes to try and bring down record high gasoline prices that are driving record high inflation, a consequence of the administration’s radical rush to ‘green’ energy policies,” they stated.

The pair accused the administration of attempting to reduce gas prices to influence voters before the 2024 election, similarly to what they allege happened during the 2022 midterm elections. They believe that a drawdown of the SPR will have significant implications for the energy and national security of the United States.

The Truth Voices reached out to the DOE for comments.

“We urge you, in the strongest terms, to put this country’s energy security first and stop abusing the SPR for political purposes,” McMorris Rodgers and Barrasso wrote. “As the Secretary of Energy, it is your responsibility to ensure that the SPR is ready to respond to real energy supply disruptions. We ask that you ensure that the SPR is not misused for political purposes in this election year, as it was in 2022.”

Gas prices have been steadily rising, but they decreased from their all-time high average of $5.02 per gallon in June 2022.

Ross O'Keefe
Ross O'Keefe
Breaking News Reporter. Ross pitches and writes polished quick-hit pieces about a variety of subjects with a focus on politics. He graduated from the University of Maryland's Phillip Merrill College of Journalism in 2023.

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