Since Joe Biden stepped into the White House last year, prices for both food and oil started rising along with inflation. Before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in the final week of February, record-high gas prices in America had already resulted in “I Did That” tag for mocking Biden’s failure in running the country.
With the start of Russo-Ukraine war, however, the Biden administration quickly came up with the excuse to blame the ever-rising gas prices on Russia. Thus the American people said Biden Did It, the White House started screaming Putin Did It. And in a desperate attempt to show some action for the country and improve his disastrous ratings, Biden at the beginning of April ordered the release of a million barrels of oil a day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve over the next six months.
The purpose of Biden’s move was to check the skyrocketing gas prices so he could brag about helping with high fuel costs that his spokesperson was blamed on Putin. The measure didn’t work. After a small drop in prices for a hardly few weeks, gas started going up again as Biden’s ratings continued to slide. Now some critics have called Biden’s orders of tapping into the strategic oil reserve illegal.
Mark R. Robeck, the Energy Department’s former deputy general counsel for energy policy, wrote an article in the Washington Examiner (APRIL 21, 2022) that points at the legality issue with Biden’s orders regarding the use of America’s strategic oil reserve. Robeck explained that according to the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPA), the strategic reserve can only be accessed in specific oil shortage situations. These include “a severe interruption of imported or domestic supply, an act of sabotage or terrorism, or an act of God such as a hurricane.”
He added that the current rise in oil prices is not due to severe supply interruption of oil; in fact, despite sanctions on Russian exports, Russian oil has been exempt from the sanctions. And given the fact that Russian oil amounted to roughly 5 percent of America’s oil consumption, the Biden administration solely bears the responsibility for rising gas prices that started soon after Biden took office. Hence, the orders to get to America’s emergency fuel reserve are unlawful, and pose a national security risk.
The unlawful release of oil from the SPR threatens national security by depleting the SPR absent a true supply disruption.
In self-defense, Biden has blamed the oil and gas companies for not drilling oil despite having thousands of unused oil permits. Leftist fact-checkers, loyal to Democrats, have tried to defend Biden against criticism by stating that oil drilling is a complicated process and takes time to provide results.