Back when we heard that Joe Biden planned yet another release from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve (for the third time), it was easy enough to protest the move as being ill-considered. There were a variety of reasons for this, but as long as the oil was going to be used domestically and the White House figured out a way to replenish the reserve, it might not turn out to be a complete disaster.
But this week we’re learning that we didn’t even get to use all of that oil. So what happened to it? It was sold to overseas markets. So now we’re at the point where an ill-considered policy is preparing to turn into a full-fledged and insulting disaster.
More than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency reserves release to lower domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit record highs.
The export of crude and fuel is blunting the impact of the moves by U.S. President Joe Biden to lower record pump prices. Biden on Saturday renewed a call for gasoline suppliers to cut their prices, drawing criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
About 1 million barrels per day is being released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) through October.
We’re still losing approximately one million barrels of oil per day from the SPR thanks to the policies of the White House. The SPR is now at the lowest level seen since 1986. And we didn’t even start putting oil in the reserve until 1978.
That oil was always supposed to be there in case of a legitimate emergency, not an emergency of our own making. And five million barrels of it was shipped overseas? Is there nobody in the White House who can recognize the insanity that surrounds these policies?
Joe Biden plans to continue draining a million barrels of oil per day out of the SPR through October. (I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the target date lines up with the eve of the next elections.) At the same time, he’s already started tapping into the much smaller diesel reserves, which may simply be gone before long.
Even if we weren’t in a legitimate emergency situation before, the reality is that we are headed there quickly. The entire industry has been ringing the alarm bells. We are facing impending shortages of all types of liquid fuels. And unless government policy shifts away from crushing the ability to expand our refining capacity, industry analysts agree that there will probably never be another refinery built in the United States.
We’re not just looking at high gasoline prices and gas shortages. We’re talking about shortfalls of diesel and jet fuel too. And when there is no diesel, products don’t make it to the market to restock shelves. When you run short of jet fuel, well… you get the drift. We are increasingly likely to march straight into an actual liquid fuel emergency and our SPR reserves are being shipped to other countries. This is a suicidal approach to energy policy and the price we pay for it will likely be vastly worse than most people can imagine at this time.