(CNSNews.com) - "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists for national security," former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News on Wednesday, after President Joe Biden announced another drawdown – 15 million barrels -- in an attempt to bring gasoline prices down before the midterm election.
Biden said the move was not politically motivated.
But Pence said the drawdown "doesn't make any sense."
"And the idea of using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to respond to their failed energy policies is antithetical to American interests. We have depleted the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by some 50 percent.
“And the 15 million barrels that he's approved today will only worsen that, at a time when we have war raging in Eastern Europe, we have provocations from North Korea, and even from China across the Taiwan Straits," Pence continued:
"What struck me the most about what President Biden said was the fact that he said, it's been a tough four or five years. Tough four or five years," Pence asked.
"Under the Trump-Pence administration, we achieved energy independence. We became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 70 years. We did that by unleashing American energy, by approving the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, by opening up the Alaska National Wildlife region.
"I was just in the Permian Basin in New Mexico about a week ago. And we turned that into an incredible area of innovation. But I heard, under this administration, not only did they shut down the pipelines, they shut down Alaska, but they only have approved so far in New Mexico, John, about 500 acres in the last two years for oil development. That's two wells.
"I mean, once again, what your viewers saw, what Americans saw was President Biden blaming rising gasoline prices on the war in Ukraine. But look, most Americans know gasoline prices had gone up 50 percent before the first shot was fired.
"Gasoline prices are high at the pump today not because of the war in Ukraine, but because of Joe Biden's war on energy.
“And I think the reason, in 20 days, you're going to see the American people take back the House, take back the Senate, take back statehouses around the country is because they know better.
“They know the pathway to American energy independence is to unleash American energy. And we're going to have majorities in the Congress that will drive those policies and, my hope is, force this administration back to some common sense."
On another topic, the war in Ukraine, Pence said, "We need to continue to support the people of Ukraine as they fight for their defense."
"You know, the United States throughout our history has understood that we need to be the leader of the free world. That includes being the arsenal of democracy," Pence elaborated.
"And in the days of Ronald Reagan, we understood the value of confronting the Russians and communism in the world, not by necessarily fighting them directly, but by making sure the people that were fighting the communists, whether in our hemisphere or other places around the world, had the resources that they need.
"I think this is such a fight."
Pence has not confirmed speculation that he intends to run for president in 2024. He told Fox News that his current focus is on helping Republicans "win strong majorities in the House and the Senate."
"After that, I have got a book coming out. I'm going to travel the country. And, after the first of the year, we will take some time to pray and try and discern where we might be called to serve next."