Congressman Tom Cole says it’s time the country had a plan and act on it to reverse the damage President Biden has done to the nation’s energy security by draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to its lowest level in 40 years.
Writing this week, the Oklahoma Representative declared, “The Biden Administration’s ongoing war on American energy is the root cause of our current energy crisis and until it reverses course and starts using the resources we have here at home, nothing will change.”
The following is his column:
Last month, House Republicans passed a crucial bill that holds the Biden Administration accountable for its assault on North American energy production. Since assuming office, President Joe Biden has taken actions that have dangerously and significantly reduced our nation’s energy independence and caused energy prices to reach unprecedented prices. Even worse, while trying to reduce high fuel and energy prices caused by his own doing, the president has wrongfully and dangerously drained our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to its lowest level in 40 years for political expedience rather than meaningful effect.
This unwise decision has only increased the United States’ risk if an emergency or natural disaster were to occur, emboldened our adversaries and has certainly not provided a long-term or significant relief to the American people. During his time in office, President Biden has sold nearly 40 percent of this emergency stockpile including to some refineries owned by adversarial countries including Communist China, and we must have a plan in action to reverse course.
The Strategic Production Response Act would limit non-emergency drawdowns of the SPR and require increases in oil and gas production on federal lands to offset future drawdowns of this reserve. America’s SPR was created for emergencies, not for artificial market manipulation to score political points during a crisis. This legislation holds this administration accountable for its careless actions.
There is no question that Americans are struggling financially, and soaring prices at the gas pumps as well as to cool and heat homes does not help matters. The nation has the resources to end this energy crisis and lower prices for the American people including in my own state of Oklahoma which is rich with energy resources. Currently, the Biden Administration is sitting on over 4,700 pending applications for permits to drill. And according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in just Oklahoma, there are approximately 1,386,900 acres of BLM-administered federal mineral real estate open or open with stipulations to oil and gas leasing, development or production.
House Republicans are committed to pursuing an all-of-the-above energy strategy to ease this crisis and put the American people first. By unleashing American energy independence, restoring the depleted SPR and untying the hands of American energy producers, our nation will be safer and certainly in a better place economically.
The Biden Administration’s ongoing war on American energy is the root cause of our current energy crisis and until it reverses course and starts using the resources we have here at home, nothing will change. While we still have much more work to do, the Strategic Production Response Act is a great first step to getting back on track. And for this reason, I was certainly proud to support it.