The White House accuses Republicans of making it easier for Putin to use energy as a WEAPON OF WAR in Ukraine with their bill to limit Biden’s use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
- Jennifer Granholm said Biden would veto bill if it was passed by Congress
- Republicans want to limit president’s ability to tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve
- Granholm said that would risk driving up prices for motorists
The White House on Monday accused Republicans of helping Vladimir Putin wage war in Ukraine by trying to make it harder for President Joe Biden to tap the Strategic the Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
Officials say releases from the store were crucial to bringing down gas prices last year after world oil prices rocketed after Russian launched its invasion.
And now the administration says Biden would veto a Republican bill to make it harder for him to use the reserve if it is passed by Congress.
‘Putin has tried to use energy supply and high prices as a strategy to weaken the United States and Europe’s resolve to defend Ukraine,’ said the White House Office of Management and Budget.
‘By interfering with the United States’ ability to release oil collectively, this legislation would help Putin’s war aims.’
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Monday slammed Republicans for moves she said could drive up gas prices as he promised that President Joe Biden would veto their bill limiting his ability to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
an aerial view, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve storage at the Bryan Mound site in Freeport, Texas. Last year, Biden released 180 million barrels from the reserve
Earlier, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm slammed Republicans for moves she said could drive up gas prices as she promised that Biden would veto their bill limiting his ability to tap use the SPR.
She said the reserve proved crucial last year in reducing the cost to drivers when the war in Ukraine pushed global oil prices higher.
‘House Republicans are now pursuing this extreme agenda that risks worsening supply shortages in times of crisis, and risks, raising gas prices for American families,’ she told reporters at the White House.
‘When you consider [House Resolution} 21, the bill they’ve introduced needlessly aims to weaken the strategic petroleum reserve’s usefulness as a tool to ensure energy security in America.’
The bill requires an administration that taps the SPR to push forward plans to increase oil and gas leasing on federal lands, unless the release is for a severe oil supply emergency.
Republicans have the reserve in their sights in other ways.
The Bidens arrived back at the White House on Monday morning after a weekend in Delaware
Earlier this month they advanced a bill through the House that would prevent Biden from tapping the SPR to sell US oil to China.
Reuters reported in July last year that SPR oil was going to China, India, Italy, and the Netherlands. In some cases U.S. companies, including Phillips 66, bought the reserve’s oil then sold it to China.
Last March, Biden began announced a record 180 million-barrel sale over six months.
The SPR stock is now at 372 million barrels, down from 594 million one year ago.
The result is that Republicans and some Democrats have expressed concern at the level of reserves.
Granholm said: ‘Analysts who have looked at this have credited the releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for filling the supply gaps that were resulting from the invasion and the lessening of Russian oil on a global market and have credited the SPR with lowering prices.’
In a letter sent to Congress last week, Granholm said the releases were responsible for a 40-cent drop in pump prices.