Biden Accused of ‘Abusing’ Petroleum Reserves for Political Gain

( – Top Republicans in Congress are accusing President Joe Biden of boosting his reelection campaign by abusing and misusing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming, are two of the GOP’s most influential energy sector lawmakers. Both have also been highly critical of the Biden administration’s “political abuse and misuse” of the SPR. Barrasso is on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Rodgers chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

On Wednesday, May 29th, Rodgers and Barrasso sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm accusing the Biden administration of using the SPR as a means to fulfill political objectives. The stated purpose of the letter is to express concern over the “administration’s mismanagement” of the reserve, which Rogers and Barrasso remind Granholm is “a strategic asset” put aside for the intended purpose of using “in times of national emergencies,” like during a war or a natural disaster.

Biden recently announced that the week before Independence Day, “prices at the pump” would be reduced by releasing about a million gasoline barrels into the market from the SPR. The barrels will come from the Northeast Supply Reserve, which the White House says represents a continuation of a pattern of past releases already accomplished under Biden.

The U.S. Department of Energy says the purpose of the SPR is to “reduce the impact of disruptions” in the petroleum supply in the event of an emergency, which includes carrying out “obligations” under “the international energy program.” The oil in the reserve is “sold competitively” whenever the president deems it necessary according to the conditions of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).

The Republican leaders claim that the Biden administration has been abusing the reserve “for political purposes” in an attempt to drop record-high prices that are also contributing to record-high inflation, all of which Rodgers and Barrasso blamed on Biden’s green energy policies.

The GOP leaders also accused the administration of trying to cut gas costs in an effort to win more votes leading up to the presidential election in November, which they also accused the administration of doing before the midterms in 2022.

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