Republican leaders on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee have introduced companion bills targeting President Biden’s use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Led by Ranking Member John Barrasso, R-Wyo, these bills aim to protect America’s strategic reserve from being sold to countries like China and other nations of concern.
The first bill, the Secure Auction for Energy Reserves Act, introduced by Barrasso and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, would prohibit the federal government from selling SPR stocks to China and other countries of particular concern. The House passed similar legislation earlier this month by a margin of 331-97.
“China is profiting from President Biden’s political abuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Barrasso said in a statement. “Meanwhile, America has become more vulnerable to true energy and national security emergencies.”
The second legislation Senate Republicans introduced, the Strategic Production Response Act, would require the Department of Energy to only tap the SPR when there is a severe energy supply interruption and not until the Interior Department issues a plan to increase oil and gas production on federal lands and waters.
Barrasso stated, “America is stronger and safer when we are energy independent,” and added that “The Biden administration agenda is to choke off energy development on federal land. Our legislation will prevent President Biden from raiding the SPR for political purposes without boosting American oil production.”
The Republican Senator has also been very vocal about the need for energy independence, “It’s time to work together to lower prices for Wyoming families, unleash American energy, and strengthen our national security,” he said.
“We believe that there is room for bipartisanship to expand our ability to create more affordable, reliable energy in America,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters Monday. “But proposals like H.R. 21, which risks raising these gas prices and making it offer to — harder to offer Americans relief in the future are simply nonstarters.”
“So I’ll be very clear: If Congress were to pass H.R. 21, the President would veto it,” Granholm said. “He will not allow the American people to suffer because of the backwards agenda that House Republicans are advancing.”
Overall, Biden has ordered the Department of Energy to take steps that would lead to a total reliance on foreign oil. The Republican party believes that this is a dangerous move and that they will continue to push for legislation that will protect America’s strategic reserve and promote energy independence.