The House of Representatives has decided to limit the use of the U.S. strategic oil reserve
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a bill that would limit the Energy Department’s ability to use strategic oil reserves without developing plans to increase the amount of federal land on which oil and gas drilling is possible.
The House approved the bill by a narrow margin of 221 votes to 205 and almost strictly along party lines, with all Republicans in favor and only one Democratic congressman. Earlier this week, the White House announced that President Joe Biden would veto the bill if it passed through Congress.
The document is expected to become the subject of fierce debate in the Senate, which, unlike the House of Representatives, is controlled by Biden’s Democratic partymates.
Under the bill, before using reserves from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the Secretary of Energy must develop a plan to expand federal lands leased for oil and gas production, including submerged areas of the outer continental shelf.
This would not prevent the president from using the SNR in case of an emergency, such as hurricanes, that could cause oil production to be suspended.
Republican supporters of the bill said the Biden administration acted recklessly by selling 180 million barrels from the reserve last year. Because of this and other seizures approved by the White House, the SNR has fallen to its lowest level since 1983.
The Biden administration said it was selling oil to curb gasoline prices, which have averaged $5 a gallon nationally and contributed to the highest inflation in the United States in decades.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at the White House this week that Biden “will not allow the American people to suffer because of the retrograde agenda being pursued by Republicans in the House.”
You may be interested: Three people were detained at a protest in New York