Biden Continues To Use National Oil Reserves As Personal “Piggy Bank”

President Biden accessed the nation’s emergency petroleum stockpile last week when the Saudis refused to increase oil production.

Once 180 million barrels were released at one million daily from April through mid-October, the president released 15 million more. The U.S. utilizes 20 million barrels of crude oil daily, according to the EIA.

Initial Move By Biden

Biden’s assertion to be doing “all” to cut gas costs contradicts the White House energy policy from day one.

At his appointment, the president restricted government land to new natural gas and oil licenses for 18 months, preventing development in the capital-labor-intensive sector while a torrent of regulations and taxes hampered production.

Biden rejected plans for a new oil refinery in the Virgin Islands, thus reducing U.S. refining capacity.

Biden often used the oil reserve during his first two years in office, angering voters already strained by four-decade-high inflation. The president drew 50 million barrels of crude oil from the stockpile before Thanksgiving.

Biden later requested 30 million barrels from the stockpile when Russia invaded Ukraine. The White House then released 180 million barrels leading up to the midterms.

Contrary to his assurances last week, the president is tapping an additional 15 million barrels shortly before Election Day to avoid igniting domestic power output.

By year’s conclusion, Biden will have removed 275 million barrels from the 714 million-barrel stockpile. The reserve has just under 400 million barrels of oil, the lowest point since 1984.

The emergency oil stockpile, developed in the 1970s to ready the U.S. for an unexpected and catastrophic disruption in production, such as a disaster, has become the president’s personal petroleum fund to cash in for political clout.

Consumers suffered historic agony at the pump this summertime when the average gallon of regular unleaded gas exceeded $5. Gas prices rose, notwithstanding millions of barrels of oil entering the market.

Checks and Balances

Tom Pyle, head of the American Energy Alliance, said it distorts the market and covers up the president’s desire to limit domestic crude oil production. Biden is facing criticism that he’s vulnerable because he did not collaborate with OPEC and Saudi Arabia.

OPEC announced output cutbacks of two million barrels per day in November. Pyle advocated a legislative cure to the situation as the administration depletes the petroleum stockpile to save face as the midterms come near.

House Republicans have frequently pushed to intercede. In June, Democrats defeated for the eighth time Republican leaders’ “American Energy Independence from Russia Act,” that would have set constraints on White House use of the national petroleum stockpile.

The measure would compel the presidency to present an energy security strategy within a month after using the emergency reserve and require the Energy Department to prepare restocking plans.

If Republicans win the majority, tackling the SPR will be a cornerstone of their holistic focus on enhancing American energy output and security.

Congressional Republicans tried to resupply the oil stockpile in the first months of 2020 when the sector was on the edge of collapse from COVID-19 lockdowns. At the period, oil prices had plunged and it could be acquired in bulk at a bargain.

Democrats, unfortunately, blocked the effort. Now, the Biden presidency is obliged to deal with replacing millions more barrels at a significantly greater price.

When Trump refilled the stockpile, oil was less than $24 per barrel. Biden faces rates between $67 and $72 per barrel, roughly three times what oil cost two years ago.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.