Unlock Premium Data: Up to 50% Off InvestingProCLAIM SALE

U.S. energy chief says Biden would veto House Republican bill on oil reserve

Published 01/23/2023, 03:08 PM
Updated 01/23/2023, 06:51 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm hosts a U.S. Department of Energy news conference to announce that scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have made a breakthrough on fusion energy, the process that powers th
CL
-

By Steve Holland, Timothy Gardner and Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden will veto a bill by U.S. House of Representatives Republicans on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) if it passes Congress, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Monday.

In a letter last week, Granholm warned Republicans that limiting the Democratic president's authority to tap the nation's oil reserves would undermine national security, cause crude oil shortages, and raise gasoline prices.

"He will not allow the American people to suffer because of the backwards agenda that House Republicans are advancing" Granholm, speaking to reporters at a White House briefing, said of Biden.

The bill, called HR21, would prohibit the energy secretary from tapping the SPR without producing a plan to increase oil and gas leasing on federal lands - unless the release is for a severe oil supply emergency.

The House, which Republicans control by a narrow margin, is expected to vote on the bill as soon as this week. The legislation would face an uphill battle in the Senate, controlled by Democrats.

Republican lawmakers say they are concerned that last year's releases from the SPR, the biggest amount of crude oil from any president, have deteriorated the ability to store, pipe and pump oil at the SPR, which holds crude across series of underground natural caverns on the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

"We would like to curtail use of the SPR for only those situations where there's a severe supply interruption," a Republican aide to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce told reporters.

Biden tapped the SPR repeatedly last year in response to oil prices that jumped due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and as travel increased while the COVID-19 pandemic eased.

Biden announced last March a record 180 million-barrel sale over six months that drove the reserve's level to its lowest since late 1983.

The Energy Department this month rejected the first batch of bids from oil companies to resupply a small amount of crude to the SPR.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an oil storage facility, is seen in this aerial photograph over Freeport, Texas, U.S., April 27, 2020.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo

Despite that rejection, Granholm said she is confident the United States will be able to refill the SPR and save taxpayers money by buying oil at a lower price than the government originally purchased the supplies.

“The offers that we received did not meet specification or price,” the secretary said. She said the administration would soon announce how it will buy back some initial replenishment oil for the reserve.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.