Depleting of oil reserves no remedy for lousy policies, say critics

Depleting of oil reserves no remedy for lousy policies, say critics

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm listens as President Joe Biden speaks about energy and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Depleting of oil reserves no remedy for lousy policies, say critics

President Biden's continued release of more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) isn't garnering the positive reaction the administration had hoped for. In contrast, it appears to be adding fuel for critics' arguments against his energy policies.

On Wednesday, Joe Biden announced that he was once again going to dip into the country's oil reserves in hopes of lowering gas prices before Election Day. He tried again to tell Americans that he knows how they feel:

Biden: "I come from a family [where] if the price of gasoline went up at the gas station, we felt it. Gas prices have hit almost every family in this country and they squeeze their family budgets. When the price of gas goes up, other expenses get cut."

Mike Sommers, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute – offering his take on the Biden administration's energy policies – argues that increasing energy demand and constrained supply, coupled with geopolitical instability and faulty policy decisions, have driven fuel prices higher.

Sommers, Mike (API) Sommers

"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," says Sommers.

API thinks the administration should instead focus on addressing the fundamental economic and security challenges the country faces by spurring more investment in American energy, infrastructure, and markets that enable U.S. consumers to benefit from America's reliable energy resources.

The Institute for Energy Research agrees, concluding its assessment of the SPR releases with this statement:

"Unlike the president's short-term SPR releases, changing his policies to be pro-oil and gas, producing 2 to 3 million more barrels of oil every day for years to come would be a long-term fix that would actually lower prices for American families and improve the U.S. economy and our national security."

In fact, IER argues the president is "risking U.S. national security by constantly going to the SPR to counter increases in gas and diesel prices that result from his anti-oil and gas policies." The Institute adds: "The combination of [Biden's energy-related] policies will translate to higher prices for Americans after the November election.

The scheduled release of 15 million barrels is less than what the American economy uses in a single day. The president assured the public – when asked by reporters – that the releases are "not politically motivated at all." But respondents to a related AFN poll clearly see it as political in nature: almost half of the votes say the president is doing it because he is "worried about Dems losing control of Congress."