Who Do These People Represent?

America is a representative republic. We elect people and send them to Washington to represent us and the best interests of America. Lately it seems as if some of our representatives have forgotten who they work for.

On Thursday, The Daily Caller reported that after Senator Ted Cruz introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would ban the federal government from selling strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) oil to America’s adversaries. Fourteen Democrat Senators voted against this amendment.

The article reports:

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas authored the amendment, which would bar Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm from drawing down oil from the SPR to sell to any entity that is under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, North Korea or Iran. Democrats who voted against the amendment include Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Corey Booker of New Jersey, Benjamin Cardin of Maryland and Dick Durbin of Illinois.

The amendment passed the Senate by an 85-14 vote, indicating wide bipartisan support for the restrictions on SPR supply making its way into the hands of nations adversarial to the U.S. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and John Fetterman of Pennsylvania joined Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa as cosponsors for the amendment.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Peter Welch of Vermont also voted against the amendment.

Draining down the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) to lower the cost of gasoline at the pump for political reasons is questionable at best, but to then sell some of that oil to people who want to destroy us is totally insane. Who do these people represent?

Slowly But Surely?

According to a Reuters article posted on May 15th, last year the Biden administration sold 180 million barrels of America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in order to stabilize the oil market and fight the high prices Americans were paying at the pump. The fact that this was done during an election year is purely coincidental.

On May 20th, The Washington Free Beacon reported the following:

President Joe Biden in December began working to replenish the 180 million barrels he sold last year from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Nearly six months later, he still has zero barrels to show for it.

Biden’s Energy Department on Monday announced its intention to purchase up to three million reserve barrels as a “continuation” of the president’s “replenishment strategy.” So far, however, that “strategy” has seen the Democrat fail to purchase a single barrel of reserve oil. The administration first tried to purchase three million reserve barrels in December, when Biden kicked off his “plan to replenish the SPR.” One month later, Biden’s Energy Department revealed it had rejected all offers it received to purchase the oil because those offers “were either too expensive or didn’t meet the required specifications.”

…Facing the “impossible” task of refilling the reserve to its past levels—the stock held 638 million barrels of oil when Biden took office and now holds just 362 million—Biden’s Energy Department is now channeling its replenishment efforts toward a more modest goal. The department in May touted its “significant progress toward replenishment,” citing its role in canceling congressionally mandated sales that would have seen the department sell 140 million reserve barrels between 2024 and 2027. As a result, the department says, the reserve will be effectively replenished by 2027—not because the barrels Biden sold will have been bought back, but rather because the reserve will save barrels thanks to the canceled sales.

“This cancellation … will allow the SPR to have the same number of barrels in reserve by the end of FY 2027 that it would have had emergency barrels not been sold in 2022,” the department said.

Oil prices sit at $72 a barrel, and the Biden administration hopes to purchase reserve oil at anywhere between $67 to $72 a barrel. Republicans tried to fill the reserve to its capacity in the spring of 2020—when a barrel of oil cost as low as $15—but Senate Democrats blocked the plan, attacking it as a “bailout for big oil.”

Biden went on to sell a historic number of reserve barrels in 2022, when the average price for a gallon of gas exceeded $5 in the United States for the first time ever. Millions of those barrels were sent overseas—Biden even sold nearly one million U.S. reserve barrels to a Chinese state-controlled gas giant, the Free Beacon reported last year, a sale that came as America’s top adversary scrambled to build up its own stockpile of oil.

I can’t help but wonder who advised the Biden administration to sell oil to China when we were tapping our own oil reserves. The use of the SPR for political purposes is a first, and it has left America in a weakened position. It really is time to go back to drilling for American oil and selling that oil to Americans.