GOP Rebukes Biden’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve Sell-Off: Unserious Political Move to Distract from Failed Policies’

Vice President Joe Biden eats ice cream during a visit to Little Man Ice Cream, in Denver, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

The White House announced Tuesday that President Joe Biden would release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to combat high gas prices — a move Republicans are largely castigating as a “political gimmick.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) tweeted:

Biden releasing 3 days worth of oil from our strategic reserve is an unserious political move to distract from his failed policies. That reserve is supposed to be for real emergencies—not political gimmicks. This could’ve been avoided if he hadn’t destroyed our energy industry.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said Biden decided to sell off the reserve “because of his low poll numbers” —  recent polls put Biden’s approval rating at 38 percent.

“Joe Biden cut U.S. oil production, canceled pipelines, and now he’s selling off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve—meant for emergencies—because of his low poll numbers,” he said. “More incompetence from the Biden White House.”

House Minority Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said America would be better off if Biden had “simply done nothing since Day 1,” adding that a “one-party rule has decimated American energy production and jobs.”

“The real solution to your energy crisis is to let America produce the energy we have and need,” he said.

He also called the move a “crass political ploy” ahead of the holidays and drew attention to the fact that Biden “killed the Keystone pipeline,” all while propping up the oil industry abroad through his approval of “Putin’s Nord Stream II.”

“President Biden killed the Keystone pipeline and greenlit Putin’s Nord Stream II. Then he begged OPEC to produce more oil. Dear Mr. President: Let us produce our own energy and create jobs right here at home. Stop putting America last,” he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in a statement characterized Biden’s actions as an “abuse” of the reserve:

What an abuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by the Biden Administration. The program is designed to deal with national emergencies, not correct bad policy. The release of 50 million barrels is a Band-Aid because the root cause is the Democratic war on fossil fuel production in America. 

His statement continues:

President Trump filled the reserves up with cheap oil. President Biden is releasing millions of barrels to control skyrocketing prices, which are the direct result of his bad policy choices. It won’t work, and we will end up having to eventually replace the released oil at higher prices.

Finally, the Democrats’ Build Back Better proposal, which recently passed the House of Representatives, will dramatically decrease domestic oil production. It’s a bad bill for American energy independence, and it will make the American oil and gas supply worse in every way.”

Former President Donald Trump himself blasted Biden in a statement on Tuesday, saying, “those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else.”

“We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves,” he said in part.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) all chastised Biden for ending U.S. energy independence, which was gained under Trump.

“Only a 40 year career politician like Joe Biden could release 50 million barrels of oil and think he’s doing anything helpful. If Biden wants to see the problem with energy costs, instead of looking in the strategic oil reserves, he should look in the mirror,” Meadows said.

“Biden is opening the strategic oil reserves because he decided to destroy domestic energy production and OPEC rebuffed his nonsensical demands. He’s only releasing enough for about 2.5 days of usage. This “help” is a big lie. He made the crisis!” Boebert tweeted. 

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists to aid us in a true emergency. Our current situation exists solely because the current administration is working overtime to dismantle our domestic energy industry. President Biden has the keys to fix this,” Lummis said. 

Byron Donalds tweeted:

The fact that @POTUS is releasing 50M barrels of oil from our strategic reserve proves how ridiculous his energy policies have been. America was energy independent and thriving. Relying on OPEC, so he could be the green new deal POTUS, was dumb from the beginning!

Various advocacy groups and nonprofits also released scathing statements on Tuesday in response to Biden’s oil plan. Steve Moore, co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, warned that gas prices will only go up further if Biden continues to wage “war on American energy.” Moore said:

Joe Manchin was right on the mark today. The Strategic Oil Preserve release is a ‘band-aid.’ It will do nothing to solve the larger inflation problem and with gas prices already $1.30 cents a gallon higher than last Thanksgiving, we need to produce ALL of America’s energy to stop this inflation that is hurting the middle class. If Biden continues to pursue his multi-trillion dollar spending and borrowing agenda, today’s high inflation and high gas prices will seem like a picnic compared to where we are headed. Get ready for $5 to $6 a gallon gas if the Biden war on American energy continues and energy shortages this winter.

David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth, said Biden is “gaslighting the American people.”:

Joe Biden is gaslighting the American people by pushing the false narrative that the country is better off with his job and economy-killing policies. He’s been president for just 10 months, and his policies have fueled an energy crisis, an inflation crisis, and a supply chain crisis. Club for Growth urges Senators to vote against Biden’s nearly $2 trillion social and environmental boondoggle.

President and CEO of Job Creators Network Alfredo Ortiz slammed Biden for “blaming the private sector” and said he should “apologize for his disastrous policies instead of trying to make excuses.”

Ortiz’s statement reads:

If President Biden is looking for the ‘root cause’ for higher prices, he needs to look in the mirror instead of blaming the private sector.  Just a year ago, we were energy independent, thanks to the previous administration’s ‘energy dominance’ strategy. Now Biden is releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and begging OPEC to increase production. Since Biden’s first days in office, Job Creators Network has been warning about the inflationary pressures of the Biden spending spree – $1.9 trillion in March, then another $1.2 trillion this month, now another $5 trillion if the Senate passes the ‘human infrastructure’ bill.  The results are clear for all to see: Inflation was negligible during the previous administration, now it’s at a 31-year high, and it’s in danger of reaching Jimmy Carter levels. Inflation is the reason for the ‘Biden pay cut,’ as wages can’t keep pace with inflation. It’s also a key factor in the supply-chain crisis that’s threatening Christmas for many families.  Biden should apologize for his disastrous policies, instead of trying to make excuses.

As Breitbart News previously reported, oil prices soared on Tuesday to $82 a barrel — a sign the market is rejecting the Biden Administration’s “strategic reserve ploy.”

“Oil industry experts say the reserve release will likely not put significant downward pressure on prices, doing little to relieve price pressures created by underinvestment in U.S. production in the face of political pressure from climate activists,” according to the report. “Some oil traders say the release is largely symbolic because the U.S. had already planned on selling oil from the reserves as part of deficit reduction authorized by Congress in legislation earlier this year.”

Biden started his presidency by canceling the Keystone Pipeline, halting energy exploration on federal land, and ending America’s energy independence, which was gained under former President Donald Trump. His administration has openly said it will not increase domestic oil production to help lower gas prices in the United States and, instead, has begged OPEC to increase its production abroad. Soon after he canceled the Keystone Pipeline, he removed Trump-era Russia sanctions in order to streamline construction on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany.

Inflation has persisted long enough that the Biden administration can no longer get away with calling inflation “transitory.” Instead, they laugh on live television when questioned about gas prices, admit the irony of asking OPEC for oil while fighting “climate change” at home, and continue to study the impacts of shutting down another pipeline.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.



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