Republicans slammed President Joe Biden after a report revealed that American oil he ordered to be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is being shipped to China, blunting the effect the release was supposed to have on lowering gas prices in the United States.
According to a recent Reuters report, the more than five million barrels of oil – part of a historic release from the reserve – was exported to China and several other foreign countries last month, “blunting the impact” on U.S. gas prices, which have reached record highs during that time.
Not only has the release of the oil not had the intended effect on U.S. gas prices, but it is draining America’s emergency reserve, which last month fell to the lowest since 1986, according to Reuters. About one million barrels a day are being released through October, according to the report.
“If reports are accurate, it is OUTRAGEOUS that Biden is sending millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to countries like China,” Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) tweeted.
“The American people deserve to know why they are paying $5 a gallon for gas while our emergency reserves are sent overseas,” he added.
Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) tweeted: “Just when I thought Joe Biden’s energy policies couldn’t get any worse, his administration is reportedly shipping America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves to Communist China while hardworking Americans continue to pay $5 for a gallon of gas. C’mon man!”
The American Energy Alliance also slammed Biden.
“Beyond parody. @JoeBiden drains the #SPR and China buys up any excess oil driving UP #gasprices!” the organization tweeted.
The group also linked to a piece published in June highlighting that the U.S.’s oil reserves are helping to fortify the energy security of China — America’s top adversary:
China has also refused to play Biden’s game. Biden thought he had coordinated a global effort to release more than 1 million barrels per day of strategic oil reserves in order to reduce gasoline and diesel prices since he expected those reserves to be refined and sold to consumers. However, for every barrel of reserve the President has sold, China has taken a barrel off the global market, adding it to Chinese stockpiles. China’s stockpiling eliminated any benefit to U.S. consumers from the SPR release, instead reducing U.S. energy security while strengthening China’s energy security.
In addition to China, SPR oil also went to Italy, which sends oil to refineries in central Europe, the Netherlands, and India.
“Crude and fuel prices would likely be higher if (the releases) hadn’t happened, but at the same time, it isn’t really having the effect that was assumed,” Matt Smith, lead oil analyst at Kpler, told Reuters.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has tried to redirect blame to oil companies and gas station owners for not lowering gas prices, earning a rare rebuke from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics,” he tweeted.
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