Americans are struggling with an increase in gas prices, and President Joe Biden has responded by again drawing upon the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
According to Fox Business, between 10 and 15 million barrels of oil are set to be released from the SPR. However, some say that his use of the emergency stock amounts to a dangerous political ploy.
GOP senator says using SPR makes America more vulnerable in the event of war
Fox Business noted that in addition to releasing more oil from the SPR, there are also discussions about temporarily limiting the export of oil and gas.
“No timeline has been set for a decision on that step, but it will likely not happen before next month’s midterm elections,” the network explained.
Biden’s decision to draw on the SPR has been attacked by critics, including Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall. He told Fox News on Tuesday that the president’s move could endanger national security.
“Certainly hope we don’t have a war because that is what these [strategic petroleum reserves] are meant for, in case of war we need increased supplies of oil, of gas, we have reserves,” Marshall pointed out.
The Republican lawmaker then argued that instead of relying on the SPR, Biden should have been promoting domestic energy production.
“Meanwhile, he [Biden] has taken a million barrels a day out of production from federal lands and waters, another million barrels a day because of his rules and regulations that affect mainland United States, and another million barrels could have been coming down the Keystone pipeline,” Marshall said.
Saudi Arabia says Biden tried to stall production cut until after the election
Marshall isn’t alone in sounding the alarm, as Wall Street Journal columnist Alexander Zemek, wrote in a piece last month that Biden’s “rapid depletion of the SPR is a national-security risk.”
“The SPR is at its lowest level since 1984, when U.S. oil consumption was considerably less and the reserve was initially being stocked,” he pointed out.
What’s more, critics have also noted that Biden’s increased reliance on the SPR comes as Saudi Arabia’s government issued a statement which accused him of asking that planned cuts in oil production be postponed until after this year’s midterm elections.
“The government of the kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US administration that all economic analysis indicates that postponing the OPEC+ decision by a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences,” Fox News quoted it as saying.