Skip to content

House GOP Passes Bill to Limit Biden's Use of Oil Reserve

House Republicans passed a bill on Friday that aims to limit President Joe Biden's ability to tap the nation's petroleum reserves.

US House of Representatives
US House of Representatives

The bill, H.R. 21 (118), passed 221-205 and is largely a messaging effort by Republicans. The Democratically controlled Senate has no intention of taking it up, and the White House has already vowed to veto the bill if it makes it to Biden's desk.

Bill Aimed to Curb Biden's Use of Oil Reserve

The bill would prohibit non-emergency releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve unless the government approves a corresponding increase in domestic oil and gas production on federal lands. Republicans have blamed last year's gasoline prices surge on Biden's green energy policies, which they contend have crimped U.S. oil production, sending prices and inflation skyrocketing.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

GOP Accuses Biden of Reckless Use of Reserve

Republicans cast the new bill in national security terms, accusing Biden of recklessly making politically timed releases ahead of the midterm election. They contend he has depleted the emergency reserve, which was created in 1975 in response to the Arab oil embargo.

Democratic Opposition to GOP Bill

Democrats said the GOP's latest proposal would hamstring presidents from using the reserve in the event of an emergency that could drive up gas prices during a future oil shortage. They argue that Biden appropriately and effectively used the SPR to tame high prices that angered her after Russia invaded Ukraine.