Spanberger Calls on Biden Administration to Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve as Oil Prices Rise, Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Disrupts Global Energy Markets

Congresswoman to Biden: “In This Moment of Crisis, We Must Demonstrate to President Putin the Strength of Our Resolve to Continue These Sanctions in Response to His Invasion Of Ukraine, While also Mitigating the Effects on Americans”

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — As Putin’s invasion of Ukraine continues to disrupt global energy markets, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger — a Member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee — today pressed the Biden Administration to help stave off increases at the gas pump in Virginia and across the country.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s emergency stockpile of petroleum — the world’s largest emergency supply of crude oil. Today, Spanberger urged President Joe Biden to release additional barrels from the SPR to deliver relief to Virginia consumers, while also mitigating the impacts of U.S.-imposed sanctions at home.

“The destabilizing actions of President Putin, manipulation of international oil supply by foreign governments and cartels, and supply chain shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have directly contributed to dramatic increases in the cost of crude oil and gasoline over the last year,” said Spanberger. “Following the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, crude oil prices surged to nearly $100 a barrel, the highest price for crude oil in seven years. This price increase has not only created uncertainty in global financial markets but is already directly impacting U.S. consumers at the gas pump.”

Spanberger continued, “Additional cost increases at the pump would be stressful for the families, senior citizens, and business owners I represent. As such, I respectfully urge you to release additional crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In this moment of crisis, we must demonstrate to President Putin the strength of our resolve to continue these sanctions in response to his invasion of Ukraine, while also mitigating the effects on Americans.”

Click here to read her letter to President Biden, and the full letter text is below.

Dear President Biden,

As recent geopolitical events have exacerbated uncertainty in global energy markets, I write to urge you to release crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in line with the announcement made in your remarks last week. Over the last year, rising costs for gasoline and fuel have already had significant economic impacts on the recovery of the U.S. economy.

Analysts have warned that due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, increased costs for crude oil could keep annualized inflation above more than seven percent for the foreseeable future. This silent tax is a disproportionate burden on the workers and families I represent, and we must take immediate steps to counteract these effects. These steps should include a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

I appreciate the initial steps your administration has taken to address inflation and lower energy costs for American consumers. However, the destabilizing actions of President Putin, manipulation of international oil supply by foreign governments and cartels, and supply chain shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have directly contributed to dramatic increases in the cost of crude oil and gasoline over the last year. Following the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, crude oil prices surged to nearly $100 a barrel, the highest price for crude oil in seven years. This price increase has not only created uncertainty in global financial markets but is already directly impacting U.S. consumers at the gas pump.

Additional cost increases at the pump would be stressful for the families, senior citizens, and business owners I represent. As such, I respectfully urge you to release additional crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In this moment of crisis, we must demonstrate to President Putin the strength of our resolve to continue these sanctions in response to his invasion of Ukraine, while also mitigating the effects on Americans.

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