Present in everything we do in our daily lives, abundant, affordable, and reliable energy is the key driver of our prosperity and security. A robust and diverse supply guided by market signals free of handouts and contradictory rules is essential for economic prosperity. The U.S. House just acted to advance the above vision for energy that Americans for Prosperity has shared with policymakers from Washington to state capitols from New Mexico to New Jersey. On January 27th, the House passed the Strategic Production Response Act (SPRA), H.R. 21, legislation that would prohibit the release of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for reasons other than a severe energy supply interruption until a plan is issued to increase oil and gas production on federal lands and waters. The SPR is designed for emergencies, not because of inflation caused by poor policy decisions. The SPRA would hold the current administration accountable for lowering the U.S. strategic oil reserves to their lowest level — roughly 380 million barrels — in almost 40 years. In fact, the administration has reduced the reserves by more than 40% in the last two years alone. This accountability would bear practical results for the American people, in the form of greater energy security, increased gas and oil production, and, ultimately, lower gas prices at a time when families need relief from high energy costs. Three key reasons we believe the SPRA will help Americans now and into the future are:
First, the SPRA would strengthen our ability to respond to national security emergencies. The SPRA prohibits the U.S. energy secretary from tapping our strategic reserves for any reason except a severe emergency. This ensures we have the resources we need following natural disasters, cyberattacks or other extreme supply disruptions while preventing any administration from using them for political purposes.
Second, the SPRA would help unleash U.S. energy production. If the president utilizes the strategic reserves for non-emergency reasons, the energy secretary must first create a plan for increasing oil and gas production on federal lands to offset this usage. There are many options available to the president to increase domestic production before tapping our strategic reserves. The SPRA holds the administration accountable for failing to consider these long-term solutions beforehand.
Third, the SPRA would help lower gas prices. With American families still struggling to fill up their tanks and stretch their hard-earned dollars to cover basic needs, Congress needs to elevate long-term energy solutions over short-term political band aids. Increasing domestic energy production as we outline above would help lower gas prices. Tapping the reserve, even for emergency reasons, wouldn’t. Conditioning the administration’s ability to dip into the reserves on the consideration of alternatives — like embracing innovation, removing restrictions on new market entrants, and streamlining permitting and licensing requirements — would likewise increase our energy supply and further lower energy costs.
Instead of continuing to put our economy and national security at risk by making us dependent on OPEC, Americans for Prosperity urges Congress to embrace an all-of-the-above energy abundance approach that embraces our country’s vast resources – both traditional oil and gas and renewable. It’s for these reasons that H.R. 21 was key voted this congress and what will likely be the first of a number of energy policies advanced through the House this first year of the 118th congress. Be certain to scale your voice to Senators Casey and Fetterman by visiting our action center at www.americansforprosperity.org and signing the letter “Tell Congress to Pass the ‘Strategic Production Response Act!’” We’re able to pull the total number of signatories to this letter in real time, holding our Senators accountable for their action or lack thereof. In advance, we thank you for your partnership. I’m Ashley Klingensmith, State Director with Americans for Prosperity-PA. You can connect with us on Facebook by searching @PAAFP and can follow us on Twitter by searching @AFPPennsylvania.
Ashley S. Klingensmith | State Director | Americans for Prosperity – PA