On Thursday, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse stated that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was designed for emergencies. Therefore, it is irresponsible for Congressional Republicans to limit President Joe Biden’s powers to release oil from the reserves.
She said this during an interview, noting that the energy department is required to do a release.
“What the Republicans are doing is, they want to block them from making that release. There’s maintenance that’s happening on the [SPR]. But we need to keep it as a valuable resource, not only to address gasoline prices but to address an emergency,” Rouse said in her interview.
Rouse added that the original design of the SPR is to cater to gasoline inadequacies that may occur in some parts of the country. She said the President should have unhindered access to the SPR’s availability and should be able to utilize it when the need arises.
“The Republicans have been irresponsible in trying to prohibit the Department of Energy from using the [SPR] and the president from using the [SPR] as the valuable resource it is to protect this valuable resource that we know we need, which is to keep gasoline on the market,” she further said in her statement.
The Republicans dominated the house on Thursday, voting resoundingly to stop oil release from the country’s emergency reserves from going to China.
The legislation prohibits oil sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to entities under the control, ownership or influence of the Chinese Communist Party. The only clause to the legislation includes that this could be done if the oil is not exported to China.
🚨🚨 More than 100 House Democrats just voted with Republicans to pass a bill banning Biden's sales of America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.
Will Senate Democrats and Biden block this overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation? pic.twitter.com/jYc7BZ6QFt
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 12, 2023
The bill passed in a bipartisan 331-97 vote. All 97 “no” votes came from Democrats, but 113 Democrats joined all Republicans who voted to pass the measure.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have a long history of disagreement on energy policy proposals. Over a decade ago, Republicans proposed a viable solution to the high energy prices by increasing domestic production and lifting restrictions on drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.