America's oil reserve has shrunk to its lowest level since 1984 under President Joe Biden, reports Axios.
Biden in mid-October announced that he would authorize the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a way to bring down gas prices, a move some Republicans called "dangerous" and said places the United States at great risk.
"Well, he's doing it to lower gas prices because he's afraid of the impact. And unfortunately, what's happened now is our strategic reserve is at its lowest level, I believe since 1982 or '83," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said last week. "We have a strategic reserve for war, for in case of drastic emergency. It doesn't exist to bail out the president's party in an election year."
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was established in the 1970s after OPEC refused to sell oil to America.
Since Biden took office in 2021, the reserve has fallen from 638 million barrels to 400 million and is expected to go lower.
Jeff Eshelman, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), recently called Biden's moves purely political.
"The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is meant to protect consumers against emergency supply disruptions, not politicians during an election year," he said in a statement, reports Forbes.
"[Biden's withdrawal] not only reduces our capacity to protect ourselves in case of a true emergency in the future, but also increases America's reliance on the politically volatile countries that currently provide most of our oil."
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