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Letter: Is the U.S. running on empty?

What’s the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)? It’s basically a rainy day fund for oil in the United States.

“The goal of it has been to essentially make sure that there is enough supply in times of supply constraints, whether that is due to geopolitical impacts or weather-related.” None applies to President Biden’s releasing 1 million barrels a day in a strictly political effort to try to keep gas prices low for his presidency.

“The government created the reserve after the oil crisis of the 1970s,” said Matt Smith, an oil analyst at Kpler, a data and analytics firm. “Since then, it’s come in handy a few times, like during the Gulf War in 1991 and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.” In March, President Biden authorized the release of a million gallons of crude from the SPR every day to boost supply and try to bring down gas prices after Russia invaded Ukraine.

That isn’t a U.S. war, and the Department of Energy now reports that the reserve has less oil than it has in four decades, at around 427 million barrels. Also, oil from SPR has been sent to countries overseas, with foreign companies bidding on oil that’s sold in a competitive auction.

What’s next? Ian and Fiona shattered hopes for a quiet hurricane season. Is the U.S. “running on empty” and President Biden now pressing for a 10-million-barrel sale that brings the total sales to 165 million barrels, short of the 180 million barrel target to be sold by the end of next month? Who knows?

Robert Meale

Crystal Lake

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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