OpinionTrending Commentary

Biden Is Playing Politics With America’s Strategic Reserves

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President Joe Biden is abusing America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to win partisan elections while simultaneously harming America’s domestic oil and gas industry, which could lower prices for the long haul.

The best things in life involve real work, not cheap gimmicks like Biden’s reactive move he announced on March 31 — that his administration would release one million barrels of oil per day from the reserve for the next 180 days. Instead of reducing regulation, improving the leasing process for oil and gas and drilling, and controlling inflation-inducing spending, Biden chose the easy route.

In his recent 60 Minutes interview and elsewhere, Biden beat his chest about releasing oil from the SPR — now at its lowest level since 1984. But releasing the reserves should only happen for national security emergencies, not for a Democrat who wants to help his buddies win elections. Biden is setting America up for a huge catastrophe. We are near the peak of hurricane season with these record low reserves.

Per Forbes’ Robert Rapier, “Biden has announced steps to replenish the SPR, ‘likely after FY2023’, and in my opinion most likely after the 2024 elections. President Biden’s gamble to deplete the SPR in order to fight high oil prices may not hurt him at all. Of course, if for some reason we had a true supply emergency and found ourselves needing that oil, it would be looked upon as a terrible decision.”

This is a craven attempt to win votes. Ironically, then-President Donald Trump wanted to replenish the SPR when oil was just $24 per barrel, but hypocritical Democrats blocked him and it looks like Biden will have to pay in the neighborhood of $80 per barrel to replenish. Nothing like putting America last.

Trump rightly called out Biden’s recklessness with SPR during a rally to support J.D. Vance and other GOP candidates in Ohio Saturday night.

“He’s using that to keep prices down as much as he can, just before the election,” Trump said. “And it’s not supposed to be used for that. The strategic reserves are meant for military purposes, for war, not to keep prices down for an election.”

Biden’s White House is crowing about how fuel prices have moderately declined this summer, right now at $4.09 per retail gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The only problem is retail gas was $2.39 per gallon the week Biden was inaugurated, which ended Jan. 25, 2021, according to EIA. Biden wants us to lock us into Stockholm Syndrome, to thank our captors for giving us just a little morsel of bread under the door.

And even though gas prices have dropped somewhat, The Wall Street Journal reports we’ve seen the largest 12-month increase in at least 41 years for a U.S. electricity-cost index. This means consumers’ home energy bills continue to spiral upward.

It’s time for voters to shake off this defeatist Stockholm mentality, to embrace leaders who will unleash the power of energy independence and the animal spirits flagging in our energy economy.

Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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