America’s self-inflicted energy crisis

Published 7:45 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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By Rep. Jerry Carl

Gas prices are on the rise once again, and families all over the country are feeling the burden. The average price for a gallon of gas today is $3.81, which is higher than this time last year and is the second highest on record for this time of year in several decades.

There are many reasons why prices are rising, but OPEC+ cuts and shrinking oil reserves are a huge part of the problem. Saudi Arabia recently announced it’s extending a production cut equal to 1 million barrels a day until December, which means supply will remain lower than usual. Historically, the United States has been able to balance out OPEC cuts by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) into the market.

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Why can’t the Biden administration take this action now? Well, the SPR stockpiles are at their lowest levels in over 40 years because President Biden drained them last year when he released millions of barrels in a poor attempt to distract from the fact fuel prices were through the roof due to his war on American energy production. The reserves were not replenished, and the Department of Energy estimates it could take years to replenish what we lost.

To make matters worse, over a million of the barrels President Biden released were purchased by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to add to their stockpile. That’s why I immediately joined 330 of my House colleagues (including 113 Democrats) in passing the “Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act,” to prohibit the sale and export of crude oil from the reserve to any entity under control of the CCP. The bill also prohibits non-emergency drawdowns of strategic reserves without a plan to simultaneously increase energy production on federal lands.

Unfortunately, Biden’s self-inflicted energy woes don’t end there. Just this past week, the Biden admin quietly overturned a Trump-era rule and banned the transportation of fossil fuels by train. At a time when supply is already low and supply chains are struggling to meet demand, the Biden administration continues shooting itself in the foot and worsening the crisis it created.

We’ve got to unleash American energy production, replenish our reserves, and bring relief to the American people. We have the resources and the capabilities to do this, but we need President Biden to use some common sense and work with us.