The Biden administration’s decision to tap into the country’s oil reserves is drawing rejection from several Republicans, including the former President TrumpDonald Trump Rittenhouse Says Biden Slandered His Character By Linking Him To White Supremacists Night Health Care: White House Touts Vaccination Rate For Feds Trump Backs Hogan Challenger In Maryland Governor Race MORE.
They say the move sets a bad precedent and are using the news to ruining the energy policies of the Biden administration in general.
The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it would sell 50 million barrels of the reserve, which, starting in August, held more of 600,000 barrels of oil.
“Those reserves are intended to be used for serious emergencies, such as war, and nothing else,” former President Trump said in a statement.
“Now I understand that Joe bidenJoe BidenRittenhouse says Biden defamed his character when he linked him to white supremacists Man charged with threatening Congress sentenced to 19 months in prison 91 House Democrats ask Senate to expand immigration protections in the U.S. bill Biden expenses PLUS will announce an ‘attack’ on the overflowing new Strategic Petroleum Reserves so that it can get closer to the artificial fall of high oil prices … Is this some way to run a country? “he added.
The Trump administration in 2020 floated by selling part of the emergency reserve to pay for some Department of Energy projects last year as part of the presidential budget, but when prices fell amid the coronavirus pandemic, instead of moved to buy oil for reserve.
Conservative Democratic Senator. Joe manchinJoe Manchin Progressive or moderate, Senate Democrats must advance Biden’s agenda Jeffries says ‘the integrity of our democracy’ is at stake without federal voting rights legislation The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – The Case Arbery, Biden’s spending bill each test justice’s views MORE (W-Va.), While not condemning the sale itself, calling it simply a “major policy band-aid for rising gasoline prices” and criticizing the administration’s energy policy as “myopic” and a “short-sighted” self-inflicted wound “.
Manchin has joined a Republican chorus in criticizing the Biden administration for canceling construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Many have also criticized a now-reversed move to halt sales of new drilling leases.
The lease pause and the cancellation of Keystone’s permit were not expected to directly affect oil supply in the short term.
When asked about the idea that the reserve should be used for emergencies, the White House press secretary. Jen psakiJen PsakiPsaki: 99 percent of WH officials vaccinated against COVID-19 Biden intend to run for re-election in 2024, Psaki says CNN broadcasts live images of their reports on China’s tennis star censorship MORE cited the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are emerging from a pandemic only in a century and oil supply has not kept up with demand as the world economy has emerged from the pandemic,” he told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday. “I would like to point out that this is not technically an emergency release, but is tailored to market circumstances. The Department of Energy has broad authority to conduct exchanges.”
The White House had previously made the announcement. “It reflects the president’s commitment to do everything in his power to reduce costs to the American people and continue our strong economic recovery.”
Of the 50 million, 18 million were already expected to be released as part of a sale that Congress had authorized, although their release will now be accelerated. The other 32 million barrels will eventually be returned once fuel prices drop.
On energy issues, the administration politically has to consider both swing voters affected by pump prices and progressive members of its rank and file, who have called for heavy restrictions on fossil fuels.
However, opponents continue to argue that this is the wrong way to tackle rising gasoline prices.
“The precedent of using this as a tool to mitigate that energy policy is just a bad idea,” said Rep. Garret GravesGarret Neal GravesOvernight Energy & Environment – Presented by The American Petroleum Institute – USA Joins Pledge to End Fossil Funding Abroad Republican Lawmakers Prepare for Trip to Glasgow Lawmakers Present Case to Push clean energy through infrastructure MORE (R-La.) He said in an interview Tuesday, adding that he has opposed both Democrats and Republicans taking advantage of the reserve to pay for policies.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey grahamLindsey Olin GrahamSchumer-McConnell Scaled Down Debt Ceiling Drama Pennsylvania Republican Party Controlled Senate to Spend Up to 0K on Election Investigation Campaign Against US Consulate in Jerusalem Powered by Network for Fake Accounts: Reports MORE (RS.C.) in a statement, expressed concern about having to buy back barrels, and predicted that “eventually we will have to replace oil released at higher prices.”
Meanwhile, Graves argued that a large part of the problem is signals being sent by the administration’s climate and energy policy, even if the policies themselves haven’t had a big impact on supply in the short term.
“What needs to happen here … is recalibrating to reflect energy policies that really make sense,” he said.
Brett Samuels contributed.