Biden accused by top Republicans of ‘abusing’ SPR to lower gas prices and help him in November

 May 30, 2024

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), two of the most influential Republicans in the energy sector, have criticized the administration of President Joe Biden for "its political abuse and misuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve."

They expressed their perspective of how the Biden administration has "abused" the SPR for political objectives in a letter that was delivered to Jennifer Granholm, the Secretary of Energy, as The Washington Examiner reported.

The letter was written by the chairperson of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

From the Lawmakers

“We write with concerns about the Biden administration’s mismanagement of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR),” they wrote. “The SPR is a strategic national asset that is intended to be used in times of national emergencies, such as wars and natural disasters.”

In the week leading up to the Fourth of July, President Joe Biden made the announcement that 1 million barrels of gasoline would be released "to reduce prices at the pump."

During the announcement made by the White House, it was said that the release from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve represents a continuation of the "historic releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve" that Biden had accomplished.

The Department of Energy says the SPR was “established primarily to reduce the impact of disruptions in supplies of petroleum products and to carry out obligations of the United States under the international energy program,” and “SPR oil is sold competitively when the President finds, pursuant to the conditions set forth in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), that a sale is required.”

More Accusations

After that, the leaders of the Republican party maintained their accusations, saying that Biden had released the barrels of gasoline in order to bring down the price of gasoline.

“Under the Biden administration, the SPR has been abused for political purposes to try and bring down record high gasoline prices that are driving record high inflation that are a consequence of the administration’s radical rush to ‘green’ energy policies,” they wrote.

In the same way that they believe the administration attempted to cut gas costs in order to sway voters prior to the 2024 election, the pair asserted that the administration attempted to do the same thing for the midterm elections occurring in 2022.

Due to the fact that they believe that a reduction in the SPR will have "implications on the energy and national security of the United States," they are concerned about the situation.


“We urge you, in the strongest terms, to put this country’s energy security first and stop abusing the SPR for political purposes,” McMorris Rodgers and Barrasso wrote.

“As the Secretary of Energy, it is your responsibility to ensure that the SPR is ready to respond to true energy supply disruptions. We ask that you ensure that the SPR is not abused for political purposes in this election year, as it was in 2022.”

Even though they have been gradually increasing, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has decreased after reaching an all-time high of $5.02 in June of 2022.

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