President Joe Biden’s repeated tactical use of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, including another announcement to do so this week, is creating an expected but little-discussed problem.
The reserve is being depleted. And much like the escalation of inflation under Biden, the level to which the supply will drop has not been that low since the 1980s.
Biden announced this week that he would release 1 million barrels a day for up to 180 days.
GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan told USA Today that if the plan is carried out, the SPR would at the end dip to 388 million barrels — the lowest level since 1984.
According to the financial website YCharts.com, Biden has drained the SPR of 69 million barrels of crude in the past year. That’s about 12 million barrels more than the total amount released during former President Donald Trump’s four years in office.
The current and repeated dips into the SPR raise questions about Biden’s energy policy – or lack thereof.
For one thing, it shows the folly of the Democrats’ war on fossil fuels.
As The Free Press reported last June Trump and congressional Republicans in 2020 wanted to buy 122 million barrels for the SPR when oil was about $25 a barrel. But Democrats rejected that plan, calling it, as then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer did, a “bailout for big oil.”
Today, that additional oil would have helped the country weather the current shock at the pump without driving the SPR to a decades-low level.
Another issue is replenishing the stockpile.
The price of oil has roughly doubled since Biden took office, to about $100 a barrel today. This means it would cost America nearly quadruple to replace the oil Biden has drained from the SPR than when Trump wanted to add to it.
That is, if the climate-change alarmists in the Democratic Party allow Biden to even consider restoring the SPR.
Moreover, there is the issue of how effective Biden’s move will be. The 1 million barrels a day he is proposing now is about 5 percent of what America uses on a daily basis. It’s unclear whether that will be enough to influence the global price of oil, even as America’s strategic reserves drop lower.
Finally, as Marc Short, former chief of staff for former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox Business this week, Biden is draining our nation’s emergency supply to fix problems created by his own short-sightedness. Chief among those blunders, he said, was scrapping the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is there for national emergencies, and this is a crisis of the president’s own making in partnership with the radical environmentalists, the Democrat Party today in the relentless war on producing oil and gas domestically. The reality is it was only a couple of years ago under the Trump/Pence administration that America was exporting more oil than it was importing for the first time in 75 years,” Short told Fox Business’s, Maria Bartiromo.
“We’ve totally reversed those policies, and so I think that this temporary relief is not going to be long-lasting. The international supply and demand is in such a place that prices will continue to rise, so it’s a clear attempt by the Biden administration to try to flail and deflect.”
Short added, “If he does this for the days he said up to 180 …, we’ll have the lowest reserves we’ve had since the 1980s. This is a crisis of the administration’s own making.”
“Their policies are only pushing us to become more dependent upon our nation’s greatest adversaries – as opposed to simply harvesting the natural resources that God placed here in America that the Trump/Pence administration again produced just a few years ago that we became energy independent and actually net exporters for the first time in 75 years,” he said.