U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm yesterday announced the Biden administration is considering releasing crude oil from the strategic petroleum reserve in an effort to curb rising gasoline prices. Tapping into the crude reserves is extremely rare, with the last significant release occurring in June 2011 when President Obama directed a sale of 30 million barrels of crude oil to offset disruptions in supply due to unrest in Libya.
In her comments yesterday Granholm also did not rule out a ban on crude oil exports, which have been largely unhindered since Congress lifted federal restrictions in 2015. The remarks come after OPEC this week ignored pleas from the U.S. to increase output more quickly than originally planned.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“The Biden administration’s recent comments regarding the release of crude oil from the strategic petroleum reserves to moderate fuel prices is concerning and if done, would set an uncertain precedent. The reserves are a key tool in U.S. foreign policy and exist to reduce the impact of severe supply disruptions – embargoes, wars, natural disasters – not simply to lower the cost of gas when it is deemed convenient.
“There is a ripe abundance of North American oil and gas. However, the Biden administration has blocked the construction of critical energy infrastructure, limited the development of American natural resources, and pushed policies that put U.S. energy security and national security interests at risk. This week’s events demonstrate that there are real consequences for shortsighted regulations and bad policy.”