U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says Joe Biden’s administration is abusing the strategic petroleum reserve by releasing 50 million barrels of oil to combat high fuel prices.
Biden announced Tuesday morning that he would be releasing 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve to combat higher fuel prices. He added that the cause of the fuel price increase was an increase in global demand as the pandemic subsides but without an increase in global supply.
The petroleum reserve was created in 1975 following the oil embargo in the early 1970s. The Department of Energy uses underground storage tanks in Texas and Louisiana to store the reserve. As of the beginning of November, there were 604.5 million barrels in storage including 252.5 million barrels of sweet crude oil and 352 million barrels of sour crude oil.
Both types of oil can be made into gasoline, but the sour crude oil has a higher sulfur content and thus costs more to be made into gasoline.
The administration’s plan calls for the release of 32 million barrels that will be replaced in the reserve in years ahead and the speeding up of a pre-planned release of 18 million barrels in concert with releases from the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea and China.
“What an abuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by the Biden Administration,” Graham said in a statement. “The program is designed to deal with national emergencies, not correct bad policy. The release of 50 million barrels is a Band-Aid because the root cause is the Democratic war on fossil fuel production in America.”
Graham said former President Donald Trump filled the strategic reserve with cheap oil.
“President Biden is releasing millions of barrels to control skyrocketing prices, which are the direct result of his bad policy choices,” Graham continued. “It won’t work, and we will end up having to eventually replace the released oil at higher prices.”
Graham said the Build Back Better Act that was recently passed by the House would dramatically decrease domestic oil production.
“It’s a bad bill for American energy independence, and it will make the American oil and gas supply worse in every way,” Graham said.