Industry groups oppose Biden admin’s latest Strategic Petroleum Reserve release

Independent Petroleum Association of America October 19, 2022

WASHINGTON – The Independent Petroleum Association of America, as it has done for decades, again announces its opposition to draining the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). 

The White House announced today the Department of Energy (DOE) will be releasing 15 million barrels of oil from the SPR, completing what they call a "historic 180-million-barrel drawdown" that was announced in the spring. The White House has said, "The President is also calling on DOE to be ready to move forward with additional significant SPR sales this winter if needed due to Russian or other actions disrupting global markets."

In response to DOE’s decision to release oil from the SPR, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and CEO Jeff Eshelman issued the following statement:

"The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is meant to protect consumers against emergency supply disruptions, not politicians during an election year.

"The Independent Petroleum Association of America has long held the position that the SPR should not be used to manipulate the crude oil market or product markets. The SPR is America’s first line of defense against a major disruption in domestic petroleum supplies. Releasing more oil from the SPR is a short-term fix for prices at best. It not only reduces our capacity to protect ourselves in case of a true emergency in the future, but also increases America’s reliance on the politically volatile countries that currently provide most of our oil.

“It is candidate Biden's campaign rhetoric and his administration's policies that have contributed to high prices. If they were truly interested in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing consumers’ pain at the pump, they would promote the production of oil and natural gas in the United States by streamlining the permitting process and allowing America’s energy producers to continue and expand work on federal lands, in the Gulf, in Alaska and throughout the nation – adding more oil to the marketplace, increasing domestic supplies and strengthening the nation’s energy security.

“Policy makers should oppose all non-emergency sales of oil, regardless of any political calculations that an administration may want to make. Today’s announcement is not a solution, yet another decision that will only prolong the nation’s vulnerability to swings in oil prices. Drilling for more oil and natural gas at home will not only increase American energy supply, but will also create jobs and increase government revenues through taxes and royalties. Releasing oil from our strategic reserves cannot accomplish these other important goals.” 

Energy Workforce CEO Leslie Beyer also reacted to the announcement, saying:

“The President’s actions again miss the point and leave out the obvious plan of action that would increase the energy security of the United States and our allies, increasing domestic production of oil and gas.”

American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers also issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s remarks on gasoline prices:

“Increasing energy demand and constrained supply coupled with geopolitical instability and faulty policy decisions have driven fuel prices higher. At a time when American energy can be a stabilizing force at home and abroad, we urge caution in continuing to rely on short-term efforts that are no substitute for sound long-term policies that enable American energy leadership.

“The administration should instead focus on addressing the fundamental economic and security challenges we face by spurring more investment in American energy, infrastructure and markets that enable U.S. consumers to benefit from America’s reliable energy resources.” 

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