Biden Admin Abandons Latest Attempt To Refill Strategic Oil Reserves Due To High Prices

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Nick Pope Contributor
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The Biden administration passed on an opportunity to buy oil to replenish the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) on Tuesday, citing high prices.

The Department of Energy (DOE) decided against purchasing up to 3 million barrels to replenish the SPR, which President Joe Biden drained ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as soaring gas prices caused a political headache for Biden and his fellow Democrats, the Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed. Oil prices ticked above $85 per barrel Tuesday for the first time since October 2023, putting would-be refill purchases well above the administration’s stated target price of $79 per barrel.

The DOE chose to pass on this round of refill purchases because it is “keeping the taxpayer’s interest at the forefront” of its decision-making, an agency spokesperson told the DCNF. The administration purchased 2.8 million refill barrels in March at about $81 per barrel, $2 above the stated target price. (RELATED: Biden’s Choice To Drain Key Oil Reserve Leaves US More Vulnerable To Rising Risks Of War, Experts Warn)

The SPR currently holds about 363 million barrels of oil, down from about 638 million at the end of 2020, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The SPR is currently at its lowest levels since 1983.

The Biden administration decided to release approximately 180 million barrels from America’s key oil stockpile in 2021 and 2022, with several million barrels being sold to China.

“We announced and have executed on a replenishment strategy aimed at maintaining the readiness of the world’s largest Strategic Petroleum Reserve and delivering a good deal for American taxpayers,” the DOE spokesperson told the DCNF.

Former President Donald Trump pushed to top off the SPR in the spring of 2020, when the policy response to the coronavirus pandemic effectively tanked oil prices. Democrats slammed Trump’s plan to refill the key oil reserve when prices hovered around $25 per barrel, characterizing the plan as a handout to major energy corporations.

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