White House justifies Democrats opposing filling the oil reserves in 2020 calling it ‘A different time’

Insisting that it “was a different time,” the White House has defended Democrats who blocked a plan to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for a quarter of current rates, according to The Washington Examiner.

The Department of Energy suggested purchasing 77 million barrels of oil at a price of $24 per barrel in order to fill the SPR to its maximum capacity in 2020. Democrats in Congress later abandoned the plan because they viewed it as a “bailout” for the oil sector.

Oil is priced at $90 a barrel, and the SPR is currently down almost 200 million barrels. If oil prices fall below $75, President Joe Biden has disclosed a plan to restock the reserve.

White House responds

When asked whether it makes sense to add to the reserve at that price right now rather than at the previous price of $24 a barrel, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded that it does.

“Back in 2020, when Congress was debating funding for replenishing the SPR, Democrats blocked it, saying it was a bailout for big oil,” a reporter said. “Why is it a good deal for taxpayers now?”

“Look, it was a different time,” Jean-Pierre said. “It was not the same situation that we are currently in. The reserve was close to full capacity at that time, and so there was no reason to make that type of repurchase.”

It will soon dip below 400 million barrels after reaching a peak of almost 650 million barrels in the summer of 2020 because to Biden’s intention to withdraw 1 million barrels from the SPR every day, which he announced in March.

A new release of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the range of 10 million to 15 million barrels was announced by President Joe Biden earlier in the week.

According to the sources, the action aims to extend the current SPR distribution program, which started this spring, through December.

Reasoning behind announcement

The White House announcement is meant to lessen some of the anticipated volatility in the oil market resulting from the implementation of the EU embargo, which is planned to take effect on December 5th.

Out of a total it predicted would be around 180 million, the White House has released roughly 165 million barrels of crude from the SPR so far this year.

The discharge would be completed if a further 10 million to 15 million barrels were announced on Wednesday.

Requests for comment from the White House and the Energy Department went unanswered.