How did we end up here? - TEA



How did we end up here?

October 20th, 2023

The issue: Depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is quite dangerous, given the status of events in Ukraine and Israel. President Biden sold off nearly half of it.

Why it matters: Now more than ever, U.S. energy strength and independence are imperative. Not having a sufficient SPR can be perilous for America and its allies around the world. The policy is receiving more scrutiny in light of the recent Hamas attacks on Israel.


  • The SPR currently contains 351 million barrels of oil, 44% lower than it was in January 2021 when Biden took office and equal to September 1983.
  • If the conflict grows as expected and envelopes Iran, up to 3% of global oil supply is at risk. This means that 20% of the global oil supply could be held hostage.
  • The Biden administration has depleted the SPR, which contains an emergency oil supply and was established for such scenarios, to its lowest level in four decades.
  • One option would be for Biden to order an emergency sale of SPR oil. It could be pumped at a maximum rate of 4.4 million barrels per day for up to 90 days.

Years ago, the U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s top producer of natural gas and oil largely because of the U.S. shale revolution. We have decades or more of American energy resources to support us at home and our allies abroad.

Bottom line: The dwindling SPR levels need to be addressed by this administration. Our energy security is more critical than ever. Having an adequate SPR is part of that formula.

The issue: 3 years in, President Biden has eased oil sanctions on Iran, used the Defense Production Act to make solar panels, shut down natural gas and oil lease sales and waived sanctions on Russia’s NordStream pipeline. But that’s not all. This week, the U.S. said it will ease sanctions on Venezuelan oil in exchange for a freer election in 2024.

Why it matters: Every action this administration has taken on energy policy has weakened our national security. If Biden wants to truly help Israel, he must stop this war on American energy.

At the same time he continues to embolden China, with his climate plan for the U.S. economy, as this piece by Steve Milloy points out.


  • China’s primary goal is to become the lone global superpower by 2049. China is smart enough to realize that goal cannot be accomplished if it cripples itself, weakening its electricity grid with unreliable wind and solar power while simultaneously burdening it with massive numbers of electric vehicles and heat pumps.
  • The Biden administration seems determined to cripple the U.S. It is engaged in simultaneous EPA rule making to zero out coal and gas plants, and to mandate the adoption of electric vehicles, even if the grid will not be able to sustain all of them.
  • The United Nations Climate event revealed the administration has given up hope of trying to be independent of China with respect to EVs and solar panels.

Bottom line: What responsible government allows itself to become economically reliant on its geopolitical rival?  Sadly, the Biden admin does and it may crash our economy and jeopardize our national security, while strengthening Iran, China and Russia.

As the leaves begin to fall, so are the gas prices. The current national average for a gallon of gasoline is $3.56, which is 7 cents less than it was this time last week, and 30 cents lower than a month ago. Even as geopolitical conflict in the Middle East causes volatility in the oil markets, American gas stations are dropping prices by about a penny a day. Absent the Israel/Hamas conflict, gas prices would be falling faster. By this time next week, some states may see average gas prices drop below $3/gallon. Currently, there are 5 states that are paying $3.10 or less on average.

Hearing On Climate Change And Supply Chains: On Wednesday, October 25, the Senate Budget Committee will have a hearing to examine how climate change threatens supply chains.

“By year two, he sold off 40 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — taking it to its lowest level in forty years. Meanwhile, he eased sanctions on Iran, which funds terrorism across the Middle East. His latest gimmick is to ease sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s brutal regime in Venezuela. America should never beg for oil from socialist dictators or terrorists. For the sake of our energy workers and our allies, Joe Biden must work with us to unleash American energy.”

— Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming)