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Budd Leads Colleagues to Introduce Strategically Lowering Gas Prices Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Strategically Lowering Gas Prices Act. He was joined by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE).

The bill would prohibit the Biden administration from releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) until any executive orders blocking energy development on federal land that would otherwise be available for leasing are revoked.

The legislative text of the bill is HERE.

Senator Budd spoke about the SPR’s dangerously low level in a speech on the Senate floor last week.

Sen. Budd said in a statement:

“Working Americans and small businesses alike are struggling with the high cost of fuel. At the same time, President Biden’s war on American energy has left him with precious few options to ease this economic pain. Instead of encouraging domestic production, his administration has begged foreign nations to increase their energy output, which increases America’s dependence on volatile international markets. He has also tapped our own emergency oil reserves to such an extent that we are no longer well-positioned to deal with the next crisis. The best way to lower fuel prices is for President Biden to reverse his radical environmentalist agenda and pursue an ‘all of the above’ strategy that gets us back to American energy independence. That’s what my bill will force President Biden to do.”

Senator Sullivan said:

“President Biden depleted the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to a level we haven’t seen in 35 years, a desperate political maneuver to mask the devastating inflation his policies have unleashed on hard-working families. We urgently need to refill the SPR for the sake of our national security, but we should do it with American oil, produced by American energy workers with the highest environmental standards on the planet—not oil from dictators in Venezuela and Iran. Senator Budd and I are challenging the President—if he truly cares about American workers, national security, and the global environment, then he will support our commonsense legislation.”

Senator Schmitt said:

“Joe Biden’s disastrous energy policies and overzealous regulations have brought Americans’ immense pain at the pump. Biden’s climate alarmist measures have crippled domestic energy production, and recklessly unleashing hundreds of millions of barrels of crude oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve not only was extremely dangerous, it made matters worse. The Strategically Lowering Gas Prices Act will protect future political misuse of our SPR, incentivize domestic energy production, and works to ensure America becomes energy dominant again.”

Senator Ricketts said:

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve should be used for real emergencies, not political emergencies caused by failed policies. President Biden’s abuse of this oil reserve  – for purely political purposes – has made us less safe and more reliant on our adversaries. This bill will correct this abuse and force the president to pursue an all of the above energy strategy. America must get back to being energy independent.”

Sen. Braun said:

“President Biden shouldn’t be allowed to drain our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help his cratering approval rating, especially when he’s blocking American energy independence.”

Heritage Action Executive Vice President Ryan Walker said:

“President Biden’s unreasonable, overbearing energy regulations have only made life more difficult for Americans struggling to afford gas and groceries. Depleting emergency oil reserves to artificially lower gas prices—instead of fostering domestic energy production—is Biden’s political ploy to put a bandaid on an open wound. Sen. Budd’s bill ends Biden’s hypocrisy and protects American reserves for true emergencies, not an avoidable crisis caused by climate alarmism.”

Background:

  • The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was created in 1975 to offer a safety net for the U.S. to draw upon in times of emergency and significant shortage.
  • On November 23, 2021, the Biden administration first announced plans to release 50 million barrels of oil from the SPR in an effort to reduce upward pressure on gas prices.
  • By September 2023, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was at its lowest level since June 1983. The SPR has declined by nearly 287 million barrels of crude oil since President Biden took office.
  • The Strategically Lowering Gas Prices Act would ensure that presidents only use the SPR as an emergency measure of last resort when their administration’s own actions are not negatively impacting the supply of oil and gas in the U.S. 

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