McConnell on Democrats’ Mismanagement of Strategic Petroleum Reserve
'Republicans will stand strong on the side of American energy dominance. On the side of national security. On the side of American workers, American families, and America’s future.'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding American energy security:
“The new Republican House of Representatives has already done more to protect our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve than the single-party Democratic government did in two years.
“First, House Republicans passed legislation that would ban the federal government from selling energy from the SPR to benefit our nation’s number one strategic adversary – the Chinese Communist Party.
“Then, last week, the House passed H.R. 21, a bipartisan bill that would require the Department of Energy to offset any non-emergency drawdowns of the SPR by expanding access to America’s abundant domestic energy on federal lands.
“Speaker McCarthy and Chair McMorris-Rodgers were right to make American energy security a top priority for their new majority. It’s too bad that it’s even necessary to protect our nation’s emergency energy reserves from our own Commander-in-Chief and his party.
“But unfortunately, the Biden Administration has proven it is necessary indeed.
“Last year, with his party hurting at the polls, President Biden released more than 200 million barrels, leaving America’s strategic reserve at its lowest level since 1983.
“To make matters worse, this political gamble didn’t just leave America less secure – it directly benefited China!
“President Biden’s Department of Energy hadn’t just sold off critical supplies; they’d sold some of them directly to a Chinese refining company.
“Last year, Senate Republicans put every Democrat on the record with an amendment to clamp down on selling off our strategic reserve to China. Senate Democrats blocked it. The Democratic Senators from states like West Virginia, Montana, and Ohio voted on party lines to let the Biden Administration continue to sell our reserves to the CCP.
“And Democrats’ recklessness with our energy reserves pre-dates this particular Administration.
“Remember when oil prices were at historic lows during the early days of the COVID pandemic? Republicans tried to refill the SPR to the top. We could have totally replenished our stockpile at bargain-basement prices.
“But the Senate Democratic Leader blocked it. And bragged about blocking it.
“Our colleague crowed that his party had stopped a ‘bailout for Big Oil’. Of course, what he really blocked was a win-win for national security and the American taxpayer.
“Madam President, Washington Democrats have been dead wrong on how to handle our strategic reserve for years. This is just one symptom of their deep misunderstanding about energy – about importance of American energy dominance, and the way to achieve it.
“Across the Atlantic, war in Ukraine has brought the vulnerabilities of Europe’s dependence on Russian energy into stark and painful relief.
“Half-baked green transitions, an allergy to clean and reliable nuclear power, and an addiction to Russian gas sent our allies’ energy costs through the roof, with working families and ratepayers footing the bills.
“It could have been a helpful cautionary tale for the United States.
“But by last year, the Biden Administration was already a year deep into their comprehensive war on abundant and affordable American energy.
“Remember, on Day One in office, President Biden cancelled further work on the Keystone XL pipeline with the stroke of a pen. Forget safe and efficient energy transport, high-paying American jobs, and lower-cost reliable power. The President had already put climate activism in the driver’s seat of his energy policy.
“The Biden Administration has frozen new oil exploration on public lands, overhauled permitting rules to make it harder to develop natural gas resources, dragged the United States back into a climate deal that gives the Chinese Communist Party a pass to keep increasing its carbon emissions, and balked at a chance to block Vladimir Putin’s latest pipeline for controlling European consumption.
“It’s an absolutely nonsensical agenda.
“And it hasn’t taken long for families across our country to feel the direct effects in the form of soaring prices – in their heating and electricity bills, at the gas pump, and at the grocery store.
“Fortunately, millions of working Americans were fed-up last November, and decided to put an end to Democrats’ total control of Washington.
“Republicans will stand strong on the side of American energy dominance. On the side of national security. On the side of American workers, American families, and America’s future.”
Related Issues: Energy