Biden faces bipartisan backlash over decision to release oil from strategic reserve

President Joe Biden seems to have distanced himself from the anti-fossil fuel rhetoric he endorsed during the recent COP26 climate change summit.

Faced with a spike in energy costs, the president announced this week that he would release up to 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to Breitbart.

“Nearly $100 more per month”

“American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand as the global economy emerges from the pandemic,” a White House statement proclaims.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration sought to spin that news by declaring that Americans have, on average, “nearly $100 more per month in disposable income” with which they can absorb inflationary prices.

The president’s decision to tap into the strategic reserve comes after he failed to convince major oil-producing nations to increase their output.

His latest move is just one of several attempts to address soaring gas prices across the nation. He has blamed the increase on gas companies overcharging their customers, among other things.

Biden is now one of several modern-day presidents to tap into the nation’s strategic reserve. In 1999, then-President Bill Clinton released 30 million barrels, as did his successors George W. Bush and Barack Obama, in 2005 and 2011, respectively.

Manchin calls on Biden to act

Biden’s release represents the largest such order in the nation’s history.

It is worth noting that former President Donald Trump provided oil to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — and Vice President Kamala Harris, who was a U.S. senator at the time, criticized him for it.

Biden’s action came ahead of the holiday weekend, leading some critics to suggest it was meant to take people’s attention off of soaring gas prices.

Of course, not all of the president’s critics are throwing stones from across the political aisle. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has also weighed in on the matter by asserting that a release from the strategic reserve is a temporary solution at best.

In a statement directed at the president, he described the move as a “Band-Aid” and encouraged Biden to re-approve the permits for the Keystone XL pipeline that he shut down as one of his first acts upon entering office.

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