Biden Admin Says They Drained Strategic Petroleum Reserve To Save ‘Global Economy’

[Screenshot CNBC]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

The Biden Administration’s International Energy Affairs advisor Amos Hochstein said Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the administration drained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in part to help save the “global economy.”

Host Joe Kernen noted the Biden Administration consistently accused oil companies of price gouging, but since gas prices have dropped the administration has moved away from that talking point.

“So if oil companies and refiners were able to control the prices and gouge and profiteering at the higher levels, why does the Biden administration get credit when market forces take over and they do come down?” Kernen asked, adding whether “they just say this stuff to their base?”

“We released from the SPR, I had conversations as did others, my colleagues, with CEOs and other senior executives in the oil industry in the United States,” Hochstein said. “We were told it will take us time to increase production, it would take us six months, seven months to increase production and bring that to market. They thought that would be by the end of the year.” (RELATED: ‘Even His Bribes Suck’: ‘The Five’ Blast Biden For ‘Transparently Political’ Oil Release)

“We took the action with the SPR in order to save not just the U.S. economy but the global economy from the reactions that Putin was trying to do, he was literally using energy as a weapon against the West and we mitigated that and gave time to the private sector to invest more and to invest in America to increase production,” Hochstein continued.

President Joe Biden authorized the sale of up to 180 million barrels of oil from the reserves in March after Russia invaded Ukraine, while consistently blaming spiking gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The administration also blamed oil companies for high energy prices.

The administration again released 10 million barrels from the reserves in October, bringing the reserves to their lowest levels since the 1980’s.

The move was called political by some, however. Daniel Turner, executive director of Power the Future, told the Daily Caller News Foundation Biden was “fleecing taxpayers to save the midterms.”

“We filled the SPR at $60 a barrel … and now we’re looking to replenish at $90, meaning there is still a $30 per barrel delta, and we have sold millions and millions of barrels.”

“If the [Trump administration] had sold this scheme, the media would have crucified him as being in the pocket of ‘big oil.'”

Former President Donald Trump suggested filling up the SPR in March of 2020 to stabilize the oil industry after it took a massive hit during the onset of the pandemic. Oil was $24 per barrel and Republicans suggested spending $3 billion to fill the reserve.

“It puts us in a position that’s very strong and we’re buying it at the right price,” former President Donald Trump said at the time.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “big oil” bailout.