CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released the below statement following President Joe Biden’s announcement to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve:

“Today’s announcement to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is simply an effort to mask the fallout of President Biden’s terrible energy policies. This follows his earlier requests to OPEC and Russia to increase production. He is asking dictators in the Middle East and Russia to produce more foreign oil even as he canceled the Keystone XL, made it harder to get oil and gas on federal lands, and is now asking Congress to pass legislation to permanently close the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. These are just a few examples of how the president’s energy policies are completely nonsensical and put our energy independence in further jeopardy while increasing the prices Americans pay at the pump and to heat and light their homes.

“To top it all off, the earliest that today’s announcement could have any kind of limited impact on the market would be after Christmas, but Americans can’t wait. They are hurting now. And they are feeling the impacts of the administration’s runaway inflationary policies by paying higher prices for many things they can’t live without as we head into the holidays.

“Today’s announcement is nothing more than a gesture. If the president and his administration wanted to make a real, long-term impact, they would work to maximize domestic production and expedite energy infrastructure like pipelines—not close federal lands to drilling and add a federal tax to methane. After a long fight for energy independence, the U.S. finally became a leading oil and natural gas producer over the past few years—benefitting Americans with lower prices and a growing economy, and our allies with exports of American-made energy. As we head into the holiday season, President Biden is now giving all of that progress away as a gift to political special interests.” 

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