House Republicans want to take “off the table” one of the best tools available to stop disruptions from causing gas prices to rise, President Joe Biden said Thursday, as his administration continues to vilify a bill to replenish and protect the nation’s emergency oil reserves.
“Our petroleum reserve is one of best supply tools we have to protect Americans from disruptions that spike gas prices. House Republicans want that solution off the table,” Pres. Biden tweeted on Thursday, referring to the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
But, as the text of the Strategic Petroleum Response Act (HR21) states, the bill doesn’t take tapping the SPR “off the table,” it simply requires the administration to create a plan to increase oil and gas leases by the amount necessary to offset the depletion of the SPR:
SEC. 2. Compensatory production increase plan.
Section 161 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6241) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
“(1) IN GENERAL.—Except in the case of a severe energy supply interruption described in subsection (d), the Secretary may not execute the first drawdown of petroleum products in the Reserve after the date of enactment of this subsection, whether through sale, exchange, or loan, until the Secretary has developed a plan to increase the percentage of Federal lands (including submerged lands of the Outer Continental Shelf) under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Defense leased for oil and gas production by the same percentage as the percentage of petroleum in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that is to be drawn down in that first and subsequent drawdowns, subject to the limitation under paragraph (2).
“(2) LIMITATION.—The plan required by paragraph (1) shall not provide for a total increase in the percentage of Federal lands described in paragraph (1) leased for oil and gas production in excess of 10 percent.
“(3) CONSULTATION.—The Secretary shall prepare the plan required by paragraph (1) in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Defense.”.
Earlier this month, the Biden Administration actually rejected bids from oil companies to resupply some of the SPR oil Biden drained from the nation’s emergency crude oil stockpile.
Pres. Biden says he will veto the Strategic Production Response Act, if it makes it to his desk after facing an uphill battle in the Senate.