The “Buy Low and Sell High Act” Would Also Double America’s Domestic Reserves of Home Heating Oil
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Spanberger helped introduce legislation that would contribute to declining gasoline prices, save taxpayers money, and block Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) gas from being exported to China.
After the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo of 1973 – 1974, Congress created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to insulate Americans from global oil supply disruptions. Today, the SPR is the world’s largest emergency supply of crude oil.
The Buy Low and Sell High Act would create an Economic Petroleum Reserve (EPR) designed to lower gas prices, as well as make money for American taxpayers by empowering the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to buy oil when prices are low and sell oil when prices are high. Additionally, the legislation would prohibit barrels stored within the SPR and EPR from being exported or sold to entities owned, controlled, or influenced by China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, or any other country under U.S. sanctions. The legislation would also double domestic reserves of home heating oil, which thousands of households across Virginia rely on to stay warm during the winter months.
“When gas prices are high and energy markets are volatile, Virginia families face significant financial uncertainty. And too often, domestic price fluctuations are dictated by foreign countries — many of whom are our strategic adversaries,” said Spanberger. “This legislation brings power back to the American consumer, prevents foreign manipulation, and gives the United States the ability to protect U.S. drivers from debilitatingly high gas prices. I’m proud to help introduce a bill that would bring more American control to domestic energy markets and reduce our dependence on foreign oil — especially in light of the market uncertainty we’ve seen over the past few years.”
Spanberger has long supported responsible use of the SPR to help lower gas prices for Virginia consumers. Following a November 2021 push from Spanberger to boost domestic supply and put downward pressure on prices, President Joe Biden announced plans to release oil from the SPR. And in February 2022, she successfully called on the Biden Administration to provide additional relief through the SPR, following the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.
Specifically, the Spanberger-backed Buy Low and Sell High Act would protect American consumers by designating a subset of the SPR as the “Economic Petroleum Reserve” (EPR). The bill would grant DOE the ability to sell barrels from the EPR when prices are high, ensuring that Americans get immediate price relief instead of waiting months or years. This EPR would consist of up to 350 million barrels of oil — and DOE would have the authority to purchase oil for the EPR at prices below $60 per barrel and then could sell oil when prices exceed $90 per barrel.
In addition to creating the EPR, the Buy Low and Sell High Act would:
- Establish strategic gasoline and diesel reserves in every region of the United States, ensuring product can be deployed immediately during emergencies, such as the Colonial Pipeline malware attack;
- Reduce our reliance on foreign oil and empower states to lead the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by investing profits from oil sales in state EV infrastructure programs;
- Lower gasoline prices and improve America’s energy security by funding improvements at oil refineries located in allied countries; and
- Double U.S. domestic reserves of home heating oil.
The Buy Low and Sell High Act is led by U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06). Click here to read the bill text, and click here for a summary of the legislation.