To help pay for President Joe Biden’s dubious “infrastructure” plan, a bipartisan group of senators has embraced the idea of selling off some of America’s strategic oil reserve.
That’s arguably better than simply printing more money.
But, per the usual arrangement, the Democrats’ combination of Trump Derangement Syndrome and a misguided green-energy agenda deprived Americans of having more in the end.
Newsmax reported on Friday that Democrats last year blocked an opportunity that, under current conditions, could have pocketed enough for a $6 billion down payment on an “infrastructure” initiative.
Former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans backed a plan to buy 122.5 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the stockpile created in the 1970s that was intended to help Americans weather the shock of future Middle Eastern price hikes or embargos.
Trump proposed the plan as a way to relieve a glut on the oil market that was depressing crude prices.
At the time, Newsmax noted, the government could have acquired 122.5 million barrels for $3 billion. “If sold at today’s price of about $73.60 per barrel,” Newsmax added, “that crude would generate slightly more than $9 billion, for a profit of about $6 billion.”
Newsmax allowed that its estimates are “limited.” The timing of the deal could have affected prices and imposed additional transactional costs. Congress then would have needed to spend to find a way to expand the SPR capacity.
“Still,” Newsmax concluded, “a U.S. government purchase in March 2020 with a corresponding sale today would be the epitome of buying low and selling high.”
What stopped it?
In a word, Democrats.
Newsmax reported that policymakers debated linking the oil purchase to “clean energy” investments, which was all packaged in a COVID-19 relief bill that ultimately stalled in Congress.
“Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer crowed to his colleagues (at that time) that the deal blocked a ‘bailout for big oil,’” Newsmax recalled.
Because of the Democrats’ maneuvering, the government not only does not have the additional 122 million barrels to unload but will further deplete the SPR to find money for “infrastructure.”
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