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Westerman Statement on Biden Administration Further Depleting SPR Following OPEC Production Cuts


WASHINGTON, D.C.,
October 5, 2022

Today, OPEC+ announced it will be cutting oil production by approximately 2 million barrels per day. The Biden administration responded by saying it will draw down another 10 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) next month. House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

“How can President Biden condemn foreign nations for producing less oil when he has launched a tireless, all-out attack on American oil and gas producers that’s dramatically reduced our own production capabilities? It’s staggering to see this administration so blinded by hypocrisy that they completely fail to comprehend the gravity of depleting the SPR over and over again. American resources are more than capable of insulating our domestic energy markets from global instability like this OPEC decision, but Biden and his allies in Congress are fighting tooth and nail to prevent us from ever becoming energy independent. This administration needs to stop using the SPR as a Hail Mary to mask its policy failures, immediately resume both onshore and offshore energy leasing to lower costs for Americans and let our industries lead the world in safe, reliable energy production.”

Background

In the past, U.S. presidents have only used the SPR during emergencies as a way to quickly correct the market and get it back to normal. Now, however, Biden has repeatedly used the SPR to compensate for the energy crisis he created by shutting down domestic oil and gas production.

Today’s announcement marks the latest in a string of times Biden has released a historic number of barrels of oil from the SPR in less than two years. The White House issued a statement noting Biden was disappointed in OPEC’s “short-sighted” decision to cut production, while neglecting to mention the numerous times Biden has halted that same oil and gas production domestically during his tenure.

Republicans in Congress have introduced numerous bills to immediately resume oil production on federal lands and waters and restart work on projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline. However, congressional Democrats continue to block energy development and have yet to move any substantive energy legislation through regular order this Congress.

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