Sen. Reed applauded the administration’s actions to help calm oil markets, stabilize prices, and deny Russia a revenue windfall from its illegal invasion of Ukraine
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the White House announced a plan to release one million barrels of oil per day for the next six months from America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in order to calm markets, stabilize prices, and deny Russia a major source of revenue.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who led calls for an SPR release, praised the plan as a needed step to help lower gas prices and counter the worldwide economic impact of Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly urged Middle Eastern partners to take additional measures to help calm markets and stabilize prices in the near term in order to deny Russia a revenue windfall from its illegal invasion.
This follows the administration’s announcement yesterday of $3.16 billion in new funding through the Weatherization Assistance Program to retrofit thousands of homes to make them more energy efficient while lowering utility bills for low-income families. Senator Reed, a vocal supporter of the Weatherization Assistance Program, led the effort to secure this funding to help more families and seniors save on energy costs. Households that participate in the program save $372 per year in heating and cooling costs.
The President announced that his administration will invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to support the production and processing of minerals and materials used for electric vehicle and other types of batteries. Invoking the DPA will help boost domestic secure sources of supply for critical materials and bolster domestic capabilities and processes to manufacture the downstream components crucial to electric vehicles and batteries.
Today, Senator Reed issued the following statement:
“Given the current global nature of the oil market, there is no single solution here. But this is an important moment in the United States’ response to Putin’s abhorrent attack. Putin is banking on high oil and gas prices to destabilize allied resolve and fill his war chest. The global community can’t let him get away with it.
“I urged President Biden to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower fuel prices for American families and businesses, and I am pleased he is using all available policy levers to take responsible, effective, and coordinated action to help bring down the price of oil that has spiked due to Putin’s criminal invasion of Ukraine.
“I support the President’s strategy to invoke the DPA, as this plan will enhance our battery production capabilities and shows a commitment to domestic battery production and clean energy. This is a forward-thinking approach that will pay dividends in the form of savings for American families, good jobs, and a reduced dependence on foreign oil and other materials critical to the modern economy.
“Major oil companies are pocketing their highest profits in years, and, instead of investing in production, they’re pocketing them and doing stock buy backs. Meanwhile families see those big profits for what they are: a big reason for high prices at the pump. I’m glad the President is making it clear big oil’s profit taking and Putin’s illegal war play a big role in these price spikes.
“I also urge our Middle Eastern partners to use the economic tools at their disposal to help counter Russian aggression and provide a measure of certainty to global markets. They can start by simply closing the significant gap between their stated oil production targets and actual output, which could be as high as 1 million barrels per day, according to the head of the International Energy Agency.
“Our Middle Eastern partners should help the world calm markets, stabilize oil prices, and deny Russia a major revenue windfall from its criminal invasion of Ukraine.”