Biden Admin Again Cancels Plans To Refill Oil Reserve

April 3, 2024

The Biden administration on Tuesday again canceled plans to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after selling off nearly half of the U.S. oil reserve in 2022. 

The Department of Energy said that in "keeping the taxpayer’s interest at the forefront" it would not go through with a planned purchase of roughly three million barrels of oil for a reserve site in Louisiana. "We will not award the current solicitations for the Bayou Choctaw SPR site and will solicit available capacity as market conditions allow. We will continue to monitor market dynamics," the department said, according to Bloomberg. 

The refill cancellation came as American oil price benchmark West Texas Intermediate on Tuesday rose above $85 a barrel, about $6 more than the administration’s target price for purchasing oil to refill the reserves. "Domestic crude prices are likely to remain too high for the remainder of the year for DOE to resume its refilling program," Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group, told Bloomberg.

The Biden administration has delayed its replenishment plans, even though it has repeatedly pledged to refill the nation’s oil supply after selling a record 180 million barrels in 2022, including many to the Chinese Communist Party and other foreign entities. The SPR now has only 363 million barrels, down from nearly 600 million at the start of 2022.

"It’s pure insanity to watch the Biden Administration cut American oil production and then claim they can’t refill our critical reserve because of the price," Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of energy advocacy group Power The Future, said in a statement.

"Joe Biden drained the SPR for political reasons, cut our domestic production for his climate agenda and now he’s leaving our critical reserve more vulnerable because he’s incompetent," Turner added. "As a result, Americans are paying more at the pump, more at the grocery store and our SPR is less full during a time of rising turmoil in the Middle East."