President Biden’s energy policies and weakening of America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) have put our national security at risk and are jeopardizing our ability to be energy independent.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is an emergency stockpile of petroleum maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  The crude oil is stored in underground caverns in Texas and Louisiana with a capacity of 714 million barrels.  It was created in the 1970s as an emergency stockpile so that foreign nations and national disasters would not destabilize our economy, which heavily relies on energy. 

Before 2022, there have only been three emergencies that warranted releasing petroleum from the reserves: Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Libya oil supply disruptions in 2011. 

However, last year, in an election-year gimmick and when their own bad economic policies resulted in record-high gas prices, the Biden Administration sold an unprecedented 250 million barrels of oil from the SPR in hopes of lowering prices at the pump.  In fact, one million of those barrels went to a company operated by the Chinese Communist Party.   

Having lost more than 40% of its SPR stockpile, America is now in a vulnerable situation.  With China expanding its reserves and strengthening its energy ties with Russia, the United States is at risk for an energy supply disruption if a natural disaster occurs or foreign nation manipulates their prices. 

While we are capable of producing more than 13 million barrels of oil a day in Texas and across the United States, the Biden Administration continues to restrict domestic production and prevent true energy independence.  Since his first day in office, President Biden has halted American pipeline construction, canceled domestic mining projects, and discouraged oil and gas exploration by implementing burdensome regulations. 

Pushing a politically-motivated agenda and unreliable energy sources, President Biden has aimed to appease climate activists and Green New Deal supporters.  America proudly produces the cleanest energy in the world and should not be forced to abandon dependable and affordable energy. 

The President needs to replenish our Strategic Petroleum Reserves with American-produced oil. 

That is why I am a sponsor of H.R. 21 – The Strategic Production Response Act.  This bill requires the SPR to be replenished and ensures any future non-emergency SPR releases be accompanied by a plan from the Secretary of Energy to increase domestic oil and gas production by expanding our capacity on federal lands and waters. 

The passage of H.R. 21 in the House of Representatives shows the world that America will not depend on other nations for our energy needs, even in an emergency. 

I urge my colleagues in the Senate to support this legislation and for President Biden to sign it into law.  

Reckless usage of our emergency reserves must end.  Our national security depends on it.