President Joe Biden has appealed to Congress for half a billion dollars to update the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Epoch Times reported. This request comes on the heels of Biden's historic release of 180 million barrels from the supply.
The SPR is spread among four sites that house the nation's reserves located along the coastline of Texas and Louisiana. They're essentially salt caverns that have been hollowed out underground to produce a steady climate.
Each time the stockpile is swapped out or removed, it can disturb the environment, leading to necessary repairs. There are also mechanical workings that require regular maintenance, such as pumps and other metal equipment that corrode under environmental conditions of salty, moist air.
The White House issued the request on Nov. 15 for $500 million to be used among the facilities. The proposal said the funding "would allow the SPR to both maintain operational readiness levels and also alleviate anticipated shortfalls due to supply chain issues, the COVID-19 pandemic, and related schedule delays."
Following Biden's move to drain the SPR, America's emergency oil supply is down to its lowest level since 1984. The Biden administration has blamed the war in Ukraine and other external factors, Fox News reported.
However, critics have pointed out that it is Biden's own policies that have led to the need for the release through shortages and price increases. Several moves have chipped away at America's energy independence in the name of environmentalism.
On Biden's first day in office, Biden issued an executive order to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. Biden has also been stingy with permits for oil drilling, even as the administration has downplayed this as a factor.
"Joe Biden has leased fewer federal lands for oil and gas production than any president since World War II," political strategist Greg Price pointed out to counter the official narrative. Rather than reversing that decision, Biden has tapped into the SPR for relief.
The additional funding request for SPR was part of a broader package in a supplemental funding request. The White House is also requesting another $38 billion in aid to Ukraine.
As of October, the Defense Department had already committed $18.2 billion to Ukraine's defense. This newest round would be earmarked for humanitarian aid, help with securing nuclear sites, and purchasing more equipment to use against the Russians almost a year into the war between the two nations.
In addition, the administration is seeking $126.3 million for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. It will be used to safeguard against radiological and nuclear events in Ukraine and prevent the accidental release or smuggling of such materials.
This role has become increasingly necessary after Russia took over Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. It is the largest such facility in Europe and has incurred significant damage during the fighting.
The facility's power lines that are necessary to cool the fuel rods that prevent nuclear meltdown have been cut, and the buildings that house the reactor has been damaged. Both Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the problem.
The SPR is not meant as a remedy to incompetence. Biden's policies have caused an energy crisis at home, and his lack of clout in the world has caused conflict abroad -- but the only solution in the works now is more government spending.