President Biden announced Wednesday his plans to release another 15 million barrels of oil from the federal government’s strategic reserves to keep gas prices low before the midterm elections.
The president’s latest decision marks more than 200 million barrels set for release in less than two years as president, more than all previous presidents combined, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The oil reserves are currently at the lowest level since 1984.
In response, Republicans took to Twitter to call out the “reckless” move.
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“The #SPR was built for a national energy crisis–not a Democrat election crisis,” wrote Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
“@JoeBiden is draining our emergency oil supply to a 40-year low,” he added. “His dismal approval rating is not a justifiable reason to continue to raid our nation’s oil reserves.”
“This is a political Band-Aid to cover up the crisis caused by Biden’s war on American energy,” wrote Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC).
“Biden is being reckless with our national security by draining the SPR for the sake of trying to help his party through the elections,” he added. “The American people can see right through this.”
“Joe Biden is going to release more oil from our SPR in an attempt to lower fuel prices AGAIN,” wrote Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX).
“At this point, it’s not just about artificially reducing gas prices at the pump for political purposes,” he added. “It’s looking more and more like an intentional gutting of our energy defense.”
“President Biden begged Saudi Arabia to wait until after the election to cut oil production and is draining our emergency reserve to bail himself out,” wrote Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI).
“That is not leadership,” he added.
“Biden draining the emergency oil reserves weeks before an election is a political stunt, not a plan,” wrote Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).
“Restore American energy,” he added.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant to be used as a last resort in emergency situations, not a band-aid solution for @JoeBiden and the Democrats’ anti-Made in America energy policies on the eve of midterm elections,” wrote Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).
“Our strategic reserves will soon be half-empty… all because Biden is trying to artificially lower gas prices ahead of the midterms,” wrote Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC).
“SPR stands for Strategic Petroleum Reserves (i.e. emergencies only) not Supporting Petulant Regimes,” he added.
“The SPR is America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, not Joe Biden’s Strategic Political Reserve,” wrote Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI).
“President Biden has already sold off 40% of our #SPR during his term in office,” wrote Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC).
“Our strategic reserve was designed to aid Americans in times of emergency, not bailout President Biden’s incompetent energy policy weeks before an unfavorable election,” he added.
“In an attempt to artificially lower energy costs ahead of the midterms, the President is depleting the SPR–which is at its lowest level since 1984–by another 15 million barrels,” wrote Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA).
“Joe Biden is shamelessly compromising our national security for political gain,” he added. “Outrageous.”
“President Biden is depleting our strategic petroleum reserves for political gain instead of increasing output here at home,” wrote Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT).
“Reserves are now the lowest they’ve been since 1984,” he added. “The President is putting Americans in serious danger and destroying our economy.”
“WOW. Biden is emptying our strategic petroleum reserves in a desperate attempt to sway the midterms,” wrote Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC).
“Endangering national security for partisan gain – it’s the Biden way,” he added.
“Strategic oil reserves are at their lowest SINCE 1984, but Biden would rather keep depleting them to cover up his anti-energy agenda ahead of the midterms,” wrote Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).
“ENOUGH. Putting politics ahead of national security is shameful & reckless,” he added. “We need #EnergyFreedom.”
“Biden’s desperate political attempts to drive down gas prices have depleted American [oil] reserves, leaving us vulnerable to future threats,” wrote Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX).
“Joe Biden’s continued abuse of our emergency stockpile is unacceptable and nothing more than a political stunt,” wrote Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX).
“He must be held accountable!” he added.
“The Biden Administration could have unleashed American energy by increasing domestic exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels,” wrote Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
“Instead, it depleted America’s national emergency oil reserves,” he added. “This stockpile was never meant to bail out failed energy policies.”
“This reserve is now being exploited for election purposes,” he wrote in another tweet. “Shameful.”
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists for times of genuine crisis and real emergency,” wrote Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY). “It’s not a political tool for Biden to boost Dem’s falling poll numbers ahead of the midterms.”
“If Joe Biden was serious about solutions, he would increase domestic energy production now,” she added.
“The strategic petroleum reserve is meant for a national emergency,” wrote Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). “The Democrats’ impending election loss doesn’t qualify.”
“President Biden’s action today is an abuse of power, reckless, and blatantly political,” he added.
“Our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is there for real emergencies, not political ones,” wrote Rep. Mark Green (R-TN).
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is critical for our security. It exists for emergencies but Biden is abusing it for political purposes,” wrote Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL).
“If Biden actually wanted to bring down prices he’d stop hindering the American production of energy,” he added.
Despite Biden’s historic oil releases to bring down the cost of gasoline, the OPEC+ nations announced their decision last month to cut oil production by two million barrels a day.
The president expressed his disappointment with OPEC+ and Saudi Arabia’s decision, despite administration officials working behind the scenes urging them to delay their cuts until after the midterm elections.
When asked if the current move to release the Strategic Petroleum reserve before the midterms was “politically motivated,” Biden replied, “Not at all.”
“It’s motivated to make sure that I continue to push what I’ve been pushing on,” he added.
Biden recently campaigned in California where gas prices are nearly seven dollars per gallon.
When asked about rising gas prices in the state, the president replied, “Well, that’s always been the case here.”
Despite the rise in prices, he continues taking credit for gas prices declining from record highs in the summer.
“[A] lot of it is the result of getting the cost of living at the gas pump down by more — now even in California now — by more than a dollar nationally and — since the start of summer,” he said during a speech on Americans suffering from higher costs.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.