House Democrats denounce GOP oil reserves bill as 'reckless'

House Democrats denounce GOP oil reserves bill as ‘reckless’

Democrats on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committees on Tuesday criticized a Republican bill to restrict releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), arguing it would limit the government’s emergency options federal in times of crisis.

In a call with reporters on Tuesday, House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. (DN.J.) and House Natural Resources Committee member Raúl Grijalva ( D-Aris.) joined Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), former chair of the climate crisis select committee, in speaking out against the measure.

Castor called the bill’s limitations, which would require the government to increase leased land for oil and gas development in order to effect further oil withdrawals from the SPR, “not smart.”

“There are too many contingencies in the world today, be it war, supply chain issues [or] natural disasters to irrationally tie the hands of our commander-in-chief,” Castor said. “This Republican bill would also open up areas to drilling and pollution that should be off limits,” such as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, she added.

Pallone blasted the measure as “reckless” and “not serious”, adding that “it’s hypocritical because the release of oil from this probe has been done by presidents of both parties for decades. I’ve been here for 30 years , and they did it on both sides. So the Republicans had no problem with that when they went there.

“There are no restrictions on [the Department of Energy’s] emergency authorities included in HR 21. This bill would prevent one of our most important strategic assets from being abused by President Biden as an election-year gimmick to temporarily and artificially manipulate prices,” Sean Kelly, spokesperson for Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, told The Hill in an email. “If the President declares an emergency resulting from an interruption of energy supply, the Secretary has full authority to use the SPR – HR 21 will not change or impede this.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said earlier this week that President Biden would veto the bill if it made it to his desk, which is unlikely due to the Democratic majority in the Senate.

The Department of Energy has sold more than 132 million barrels of SPR since 2017, including 7 million under a Trump-era tax cut bill and 30 million under the law. 2018 bipartisan budget.

In March 2022, as US gas prices soared following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration announced a daily release of 1 million barrels per day for the next 180 days.

Updated at 4:49 p.m.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.