As Americans are treated to news that President Biden is set to release 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis reminds us what a difference two years makes. 

In March of 2020, former President Donald Trump wanted to fill up the SPR, and wanted to include in a stimulus package before Congress $3 billion to take advantage of oil prices that had fallen earlier that month. 

Trump stated:

“Based on the prices of oil, I’ve … instructed the secretary of energy to purchase, at a very good price, large quantities of crude oil for storage in the U.S. strategic reserve. We’re going to fill it right up to the top.”

But filling up the SPR to the brim did not happen. Democrats, in their infinite wisdom, removed the $3 billion out of the stimulus package.

And they cheered and bragged about it.

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No Bailouts

At the time, Democrats bragged about getting the oil reserve funding stripped out of the bill. Then Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called it “a $3 billion bailout for big oil.”

Environmental groups also cheered the exclusion of the funding. Michelle Chan, Vice President of programs with Friends of the Earth said, “The defeat of $3 billion exclusively for Big Oil is an important victory.”

Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Jack Shapiro said, “Senators are finally listening. We’re glad to see them abandon the idea of ‘filling up’ the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at Trump’s request.” 


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A National Security Issue

Donald Trump’s attempt at filling the SPR was the first time it had been attempted since George W. Bush ordered it filled to capacity immediately after 9/11. 

At the time of Trump’s proposal, White House energy advisor at the National Security Council in the Bush administration Bob McNally said, “Better to do it before an emergency. We still need a large SPR because our economy remains vulnerable to price shocks from disruptions anywhere.”

Boy was he ever right.

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Enter The Biden ‘Plan’

Because Democrats did everything they could to block Donald Trump’s attempts at making sure the SPR was topped off, President Joe Biden announced this week that he would release 180 million barrels of oil over the next six months, ironically ending right before election day, in order to ease Americans’ pain at the pump.

Critics of the plan say it will do little to help the situation, instead pointing to the stifling energy policies of the Biden administration, such as stopping production on the Keystone XL pipeline, halting new leases on federal lands for oil production, and relying on, and even begging OPEC nations to increase production as the cause for the fuel price crisis. 

Biden has also blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for the spike in oil prices. 

It’s just too bad the political party currently in power put their politics ahead of America’s national security when it mattered most.