WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House today announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve in coordination with five other nations that are releasing additional volumes to shield Americans from high gas prices. Tyson Slocum, energy program director for Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“The effectiveness of today’s strategic petroleum release is eroded by America’s record oil exports. Since the 40-year-long ban on exporting U.S. produced crude was lifted in 2015, our nation has become the fourth largest oil exporting nation on earth – moving more than 3.5 million barrels of oil a day out of the U.S. and an additional million barrels of motor fuels a day.
“As Public Citizen warned Congress in 2015, exporting oil not only creates an upward pressure on domestic gas prices, but fuels additional domestic fracking. The poor economics of fracking relies on being able to sell crude for higher prices on the global market. That helps explain why the Permian has set a production record this month, to the detriment of environmental justice communities and our climate.
“The 2015 law gives the president clear authority to limit or stop oil exports for up to a year by making an emergency declaration in the federal register, with the opportunity to renew it on an annual basis. President Joe Biden’s commitment to protecting consumers from high fuel costs is empty until he addresses the crude oil export crisis.
“Republicans were right when they cheered President George W. Bush when he declared in his 2006 State of the Union address that ‘America is addicted to oil’ and applauded when he unveiled a blueprint to replace petroleum with alternatives. Americans use 20 million barrels of oil every day, and families need immediate action by Biden to stop the oil exports that drive up prices until lawmakers break our addiction to oil.”