A group of Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would protect the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves and shore up U.S. energy security, according to a press release published by the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Known as the Strategic Production Response Act, the bill was put forward by Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Fred Upton (R-MI).
The bill would prevent the Secretary from “executing the first drawdown of petroleum products in the Reserve” except when there is a “severe energy supply interruption”, the text reads—even in the form of SPR loans—until the Secretary develops a plan to increase the percentage of Federal lands leased for oil and gas production by the same percentage of oil set to be released from the SPR.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created by Congress to respond to oil supply disruptions that may arise after a natural disaster or war. The SPR is not supposed to be tapped as a bailout for the President’s anti-fossil fuel agenda, which has led to the highest gas prices in seven years.” Republican Leader Rodgers said.
“Releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not a long-term solution to help hard-working families devastated by these failed policies. The Biden administration must end its hostility to producing energy here at home, and reverse the policies that have led to the cancelation of critical pipelines and endless permitting delays.”
The bill comes in response to the recent announcement by the Biden Administration that the United States would tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to bring down the price of gasoline at the pump for American drivers.
The Biden Administration has taken several runs at lowering crude oil and gasoline prices, including lobbying OPEC+ to ramp up production.
The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline on Thursday was $3.338, according to data from AAA— lower than the week-ago average of $3.378 and lower than the one-month ago average of $3.419.