Murkowski: Biden Administration’s Decision to Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve is Misguided and Insufficient

Calls on Administration to Increase Domestic Production

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced it will exchange and sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which is meant to be used to respond to severe energy supply disruptions. Murkowski knocked the administration for pursuing this false solution – debunked as recently as last week at a hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – after months of supply-side restrictions that have added to current prices and kept U.S. energy producers on the sidelines.  

“Americans, especially Alaskans, are being hurt by the impacts of rising energy costs. The Biden administration is responsible for providing substantive relief, but tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not going to provide it.

“Just last week in the Senate Energy Committee we heard from experts that releasing SPR oil will only result in temporary relief at the pump—maybe a few cents per gallon at best. The prices of Brent and WTI crude have actually increased in response to this announcement. And reports suggest that if these sales ever do marginally decrease the price of oil, OPEC+ will decrease production to offset it—wiping out any benefit this could have.

“Calls to restrict domestic exports are equally misguided and will be just as counterproductive. Credible analyses have shown that domestic exports do not increase domestic prices. Restricting our exports would ignore the last six years of real-world experience, where the United States emerged as the world's swing producer and brought prices to affordable levels.

"In Alaska, the average price of gas today is $3.71 a gallon compared to a year ago when it was $2.48. The SPR band-aid will not come close to making up that difference, and may well backfire as a half-solution to a real problem. So I call on President Biden and his team to do the one thing that will make a difference: admit that long-term supply matters. Our supply matters. Work with American energy producers to increase domestic production. Drop the hostility against them, drop the supply-side restrictions, and recognize that producing more here at home is the best solution for lower prices.”

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