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 December 20, 2022

Biden administration reveals it is willing to spend more to refill the U.S.'s oil reserves

The Daily Caller reports that the administration of President Joe Biden just "quietly" increased the price that it is willing to pay to refill the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).  

The SPR needs to be refilled because Biden has essentially drained it in response to the energy crisis that Americans have been facing.

In September, the Wall Street Journal reported:

To date, Mr. Biden has allowed over 200 million barrels to be withdrawn—more than 30% of the total reserve he inherited, intended to be used in case of urgent need. The SPR is at its lowest level since 1984, when U.S. oil consumption was considerably less and the reserve was initially being stocked. Mr. Biden’s rapid depletion of the SPR is a national-security risk.

The Journal goes on to detail how Biden "had been aggressively tapping the SPR" since even before the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, highlighting the fact that the conflict did not cause the energy crisis, although it certainly appears to have exacerbated it.

Something else the Journal notes is that Biden has turned to the SPR - which is, at best, a temporary solution - rather than allowing more drilling to take place on U.S. land.

The Journal reported that Biden and his administration have issued the fewest acres of land for federal oil and gas leases since the 1940s.

Now, the SPR is significantly depleted and needs to be refilled.

Back in October, the White House released a "Fact Sheet" titled "President Biden to Announce New Actions to Strengthen U.S. Energy Security, Encourage Production, and Bring Down Costs."

That fact sheet, in part, reads:

[T]he President is announcing that the Administration intends to repurchase crude oil for the SPR when prices are at or below about $67-$72 per barrel, adding to global demand when prices are around that range.

The Daily Caller, however, reports that the Biden administration has "quietly" moved the goalposts.

The outlet reports:

The Energy Department announced Friday that it would begin buying oil to refill the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) at prices below $96 per barrel, even though the White House previously stated that the department would begin buying back oil at a price of $67 to $72 per barrel.

The announcement was made by the Department of Energy (DOE) in a new press release.

It reads:

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Petroleum Reserves today announced that it will start repurchasing crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This repurchase is an opportunity to secure a good deal for American taxpayers by repurchasing oil at a lower price than the $96 per barrel average price it was sold for, as well as to strengthen energy security.

No explicit explanation is given for the discrepancy between the October "Fact Sheet" from the White House and this press release from the DOE.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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