At the same hearing where GOP leaders criticized Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Democrats for their “rush-to-green policies making energy unaffordable, Granholm announced the government will start refilling the drained Strategic Petroleum Reserve beginning as early as next month.
It was during a recent U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing where Granholm explained the refilling process could start after a “congressionally mandated sale of 26 million [oil] barrels” is completed, which is expected to happen in June..
She said at that point, “we will flip the switch and then seek to purchase” more oil to replenish the reserves that were drained by the Biden administration.
The President’s decision resulted in the depletion of oil reserves by 180 million barrels of oil. Follow-up sales caused the resere to drop to its lowest level in 40 years at an estimated 372 million barrels.
Those sales drew immediate criticism from Oklahoma members of Congress, including Rep. Tom Cole who issued a statement in February.
“President Biden must stop playing games with our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, created solely for natural disasters or national emergencies. The Biden administration’s decision to drain this has left our nation in a vulnerable position and in the hands of other countries that do not have our best interests in mind,” said Cole.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford was equally critical.
“Only in emergencies in the U.S. That’s the intent of legislation meant to curb the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” said Lankford. “It’s ridiculous that Biden would try to ‘cancel’ traditional energy production here at home and then propose using our emergency reserves of oil.”
U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin also offered opposition to what Biden did.
“I urge Joe Biden to remember why the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created in the first place – America was reliant on oil from our adversaries in OPEC, and it was weaponized against us. Instead of doubling down on his anti-American energy agenda, President Biden should be working to make sure this never happens again.”
In the recent House hearing, Chair Jeff Duncan of South Carolina criticized Granholm and the Biden administration.
“This administration has discouraged private sector investment in critical energy infrastructure like oil and gas pipelines, issued onerous regulations on energy production and processing facilities, maintained a needlessly complex bureaucracy that makes permitting reliable power generation like nuclear energy nearly impossible, and made our energy supply chains more vulnerable to hostile foreign actors.”