Former Texas Governor and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently wrote an opinion piece in Fox News about President Biden’s misuse of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
Perry’s piece, titled “Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for emergencies, not Biden’s politics. I know. I’ve had to use it.” highlights the difference between President Biden’s abuse of the SPR to artificially lower gas prices compared to when Perry himself authorized a sale from the reserves. Perry writes, “When Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and Louisiana, I used my authority as Energy Secretary to loan thousands of barrels from the SPR to compensate for Harvey-caused refinery outages… But there is a key difference between what Biden is doing and what I did.” He then explains how his actions differed from Biden’s, “My Department of Energy coordinated with American producers and refiners to provide temporary aid until they could get back on their feet. Perhaps most importantly, I made sure the SPR was refilled.”
Another key point from Governor Perry’s op-ed is how rare it is for presidents to tap into the SPR. “Before Biden, U.S. presidents have authorized emergency sales from the SPR only three times – during the first Gulf War, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and to counter supply disruptions from Libya’s civil war.” Perry points out that using the SPR has never been taken lightly and that draining this emergency energy source could put the U.S. in a compromising position for future emergencies.
The root of the problem is that Biden is using this emergency stockpile as his personal political tool to lower gas prices ahead of midterms. Perry writes that gas prices have gone up 59 percent since Biden became president, “That kind of jump has a huge day-to-day impact on Americans and their families, and it’s a big bite out of the family budget when it costs $100 to fill up your tank instead of $60.” Therefore, President Biden “should be” nervous about midterms. Yet, Perry argues this is not a justifiable reason for tapping into emergency reserves. “It is unacceptable for the Biden administration to use our emergency oil reserves as a political tool to temporarily lower gas prices ahead of the election.”
Perry also points out that high gas prices are a problem of this administration’s own making because “Biden has turned off the tap.” and “been hostile to American energy production and infrastructure – shutting down pipeline projects like Keystone XL and layering permitting red tape.” He emphasizes that the Biden administration has turned to short-term solutions to lower energy prices instead of unleashing American-made energy. “Biden has favored buying foreign oil over working with American companies here at home and has chosen short-term solutions, like depleting the SPR or pleading with OPEC, over long-lasting change.”
The former Governor concludes by saying that the solution for lowering gas prices in the long term is to unleash American energy. “The Biden administration must admit his policies are failing the American people, unleash American energy production, and build the infrastructure our nation needs. Reinvigorating America’s energy sector is the only way to lower Americans’ energy costs for the long run.”
You can read Governor Perry’s full Fox News op-ed here.