The Democratic chairman of the Senate Energy Committee criticized President Biden for exploiting the strategic petroleum reserve on Tuesday while pushing “short-term” energy policies that contributed to the sky-high price of gasoline.
Late. Joe Manchin III, the West Virginia Democrat, said the move was nothing more than a short-term solution to a major problem that stems directly from the White House itself.
“Today’s release from the strategic petroleum reserve is an important political patch for rising gas prices, but does not solve the self-inflicted wound that short-sighted energy policy has on our nation,” said Mr. Manchin.
“Historical inflation, taxes, and the lack of a comprehensive all-of-the-above energy policy pose a clear and current threat to U.S. economic and energy security that can no longer be ignored,” he said.
Mr. Manchin’s statement came in response to Mr. Biden’s announcement that he would release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an emergency supply of oil housed by the Department of Energy.
The reserve consists of about 600 million barrels.
Sir. Biden has argued that the release is necessary to mitigate the sky-high cost of fuel prices that Americans face at the peak of the holiday season.
“When we emerge from an unprecedented global economic downturn, oil supply has not kept pace with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price,” said Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm. “This action underscores the President’s commitment to using the tools available to reduce the cost to working families and to continue our economic recovery.”
The White House says its decision to exploit the reserve will be made as part of a coordinated effort with Britain, China, India, Japan and South Korea.
Gasoline prices have risen steadily since Mr. Biden won the presidency in November last year.
According to consumer price trackers like GasBuddy.com, the average price for a gallon of gasoline nationwide is $ 3.39. That’s almost $ 1.30 higher than the price per. gallon this time last year.
Mr. Manchin and most Republicans attribute the increase not only to the coronavirus pandemic, but also to policies that have been pressured by Mr. Biden.
They say that the White House’s suspension of oil and gas leases on public land, combined with new rules and the cancellation of energy projects, has contributed to the price squeeze.
“With an energy transition underway across the country, it is crucial that Washington does not endanger US energy security in the short term and leave consumers vulnerable to rising prices,” he said. Manchin. “I continue to urge President Biden to responsibly increase energy production in this country and turn the tide to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, which would have supplied our country with up to 900,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada, one of our closest ally. “
Many warn that not prioritizing domestic energy production will only leave the United States more dependent on oil-producing nations across the globe, such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.
“This is about American energy dependence and the fact that hard-working Americans should not be dependent on foreign actors,” he said. Manchin.