On Wednesday, Joe Biden announced that he intends to release 15 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve in an effort to keep gas prices down and Democrats in a favorable light leading up to the midterm elections next month.
Releasing an additional 15 million barrels of oil will push the total amount of oil taken from the federal strategic reserve by Biden to over 200 million barrels in less than two years. According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden will have released more oil from the reserve than all other presidents combined. The reserve has not been this low in 38 years.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) called Biden’s decision “a political band-aid” and accused him of being “reckless” with national security.
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) accused Biden of intentionally depleting the country’s energy defense on Twitter writing, “At this point, it’s not just about artificially reducing gas prices at the pump for political purposes. It’s looking more and more like an intentional gutting of our energy defense.”
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) accused Biden of losing sight of the purpose of the strategic reserve writing on Twitter, “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant to be used as a last resort in emergency situations, not a band-aid solution for @JoeBiden and the Democrats’ anti-Made in America energy policies on the eve of midterm elections.”
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Biden’s decision to release more oil and the backlash that followed comes after OPEC+ announced it was cutting oil production by 2 million barrels a day earlier this month. Upon hearing the announcement that OPEC+ would be cutting production, Biden accused Saudi Arabia of “aligning with Russia.” Saudi Arabia then went on to release a statement claiming that Biden had asked OPEC+ to hold off on cutting production until after the U.S. midterm elections.