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January 27, 2023

The Strategic Petroleum Republicans

The GOP has come up with legislation to force Biden’s hand when it comes to the nation’s oil.

Joe Biden sure does love to boast about lower gas prices. Yes, prices did decline a fair bit in recent months, but they’re still up more than a dollar since Biden took office, and they’ve risen 40 cents in the last month.

Let’s not forget that in a little more than 16 months after Biden moved into the Oval Office and started his war on fossil fuels, gas prices doubled nationally, reaching $6, $7, or even $8 a gallon in some locations.

He could have avoided that by boosting domestic oil production at home, but Biden and the Democrats have made it clear they’re not interested in energy independence. At least not for America.

Recall that in Biden’s first day in office he shut down the Keystone XL oil pipeline. That decision made America less secure and more dependent on other oil-producing nations for our energy needs at home, and it left hardworking Americans between a rock and a hard place. It’s tough to pay the bills when it costs $50 or $100 a week to fill up the gas tank.

After preventing his own country from producing oil and then making the “discovery” that we actually really need oil, Biden could have changed his mind and opened up the pipeline or welcomed drilling on federal lands. Prices would have dropped and America would be an energy seller, as we were under the Trump administration, instead of a buyer.

Instead, driven by the green energy fanatics, Biden tapped into America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Again and again. He couldn’t keep his hands off our emergency oil supply, leaving the reserve at record lows.

Adding insult to injury, Biden sold some of our reserves to China.

In response, the GOP-controlled House passed a bill — 331-97 — blocking the Biden administration from selling American oil reserves to China and other problematic nations. Republican senators introduced companion legislation.

Meanwhile, Democrats are pulling a page out of the same old playbook. If they can’t find a solution, or admit the truth, they blame everybody else. The Biden administration has made a national sport of blaming Russia for high gas prices, despite the fact that prices were rising for more than a year before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre deceitfully argues that Republicans are planning to vote for higher gas prices. The legislation to which she refers is HR 21, The Strategic Production Response Act, introduced this month by Representative Catherine McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). It merely stipulates that the Department of Energy must develop a plan to increase the available federal lands leased for gas and oil production each time the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is tapped.

Seems like a reasonable and balanced solution.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board explains: “If the White House wants to draw down the reserve by 5%, it has to lay out a plan to increase the share of federal land leased for oil and gas production by 5%. The bill is intended to put Members of Congress on record for or against U.S. oil and gas production. Democrats in the last Congress were allowed to pretend that they backed more U.S. drilling but never had to take a vote.”

But the Biden administration wants nothing to do with energy independence, and the president has vowed to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm quickly penned a letter last week warning Republicans that, as Reuters paraphrased it, “limiting the Democratic president’s authority to tap the nation’s oil reserves would undermine national security, cause crude oil shortages, and raise gasoline prices.”

It’s clear that President Biden and the Democrats will do anything to force green energy on the rest of us even if it means making it harder for Americans to pay their bills, causing higher prices on goods and services, and leaving us at the whims of the OPEC cartel.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve should be off limits except during a national emergency, not something for Democrats to manipulate for political gain.

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