Top Republicans urge Biden against oil reserve sales

By Nico Portuondo | 05/29/2024 04:15 PM EDT

GOP lawmakers blame the president for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s historically low levels.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) at the Capitol this year. Barrasso on Wednesday asked the administration not to release additional crude from the nation's oil reserve. Jonah Elkowitz for POLITICO

Republicans are warning President Joe Biden to resist releasing fuel from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve ahead of a summer driving season that could see another political food fight over gasoline prices.

House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) fired off a letter Wednesday cautioning Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm against any further use of the reserve to bring down domestic energy costs.

“We urge you, in the strongest terms, to put this country’s energy security first and stop abusing the SPR for political purposes,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is your responsibility to ensure that the SPR is ready to respond to true energy supply disruptions.”


Republican lawmakers have repeatedly said Biden’s release of more than 200 million barrels of oil from the reserve in 2022 was little more than a political ploy to aid Democrats before the midterm elections.