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Pallone Introduces the Buy Low and Sell High Act, New Legislation to Keep Gas Prices Falling

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced the Buy Low and Sell High Act today, new legislation that creates an Economic Petroleum Reserve designed to continue the trend of falling gasoline prices and make money for American taxpayers by empowering the Department of Energy (DOE) to buy oil when prices are low and sell oil when prices are high.

Joining Pallone in introducing the bill are Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) along with Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Jason Crow (D-CO), Josh Harder (D-CA), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and David Trone (D-MD).

“Americans are tired of bearing the burden of our dependence on a volatile, unpredictable oil market controlled primarily by foreign dictators and adversaries. It’s time for new, innovative solutions to keep bringing prices down, and that’s where the Economic Petroleum Reserve comes in. By empowering DOE to buy oil when prices are low and sell when they are high, my bill helps us regain control of domestic gas prices and protects drivers from future price fluctuations,” said Pallone.  “Not only does this bill grant DOE the flexibility it needs to keep prices falling, but it also recognizes that our reliance on fossil fuels makes us weaker, and uses the proceeds from oil sales to build out electric vehicle infrastructure. This is what a win-win looks like.”

After the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo of 1973 – 1974, Congress created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to insulate Americans from global oil supply disruptions. While President Biden has successfully used the SPR to lower gas prices – which have fallen more than $1.30 per gallon since June – Pallone believes new authorities are needed to ensure that OPEC and Russia cannot continue to manipulate global oil prices to the detriment of American consumers.

The Buy Low and Sell High Act gives the President the ability to better protect American consumers by designating a subset of the SPR as the “Economic Petroleum Reserve” (EPR). It grants DOE the ability to sell barrels from the EPR when prices are high, ensuring that Americans get immediate price relief instead of waiting months or years. The new EPR would consist of up to 350 million barrels of oil. DOE would have the authority to purchase oil for the EPR at prices below $60 per barrel and then could sell oil when prices exceed $90 per barrel.

In addition to creating the EPR, Pallone’s bill also:

  • Establishes strategic gasoline and diesel reserves in every region of the United States, ensuring product can be deployed immediately during emergencies, such as the Colonial Pipeline malware attack;
  • Prohibits barrels stored within the SPR from being exported or sold to entities owned, controlled, or influenced by China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, or any other country under U.S. sanctions;
  • Reduces our reliance on foreign oil and empowers states to lead the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by investing profits from oil sales in state EV infrastructure programs;
  • Lowers gasoline prices and improves our energy security by funding improvements at oil refineries located in allied countries; and
  • Ensures that the federal government leads by example and sets targets for acquiring a fully zero-emission federal vehicle fleet.

Bill text can be found HERE and a section-by-section HERE.

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