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Biden’s Oil-Reserve Withdrawals Spark Republican Demand for Audit


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Top Republicans want a government watchdog to investigate the Biden administration’s management of the nation’s emergency oil reserves, arguing no credible plan exists to refill the cache that now stands at a 40-year low.In a letter sent Monday to the Government Accountability Office, GOP lawmakers demanded a wide-ranging audit that would examine whether the Biden administration’s historic release of oil from the cache following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine damaged the subterranean storage system. They also want details on a now-paused plan to modernize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“Mismanagement of the SPR has undermined America’s energy security, leaving the nation more vulnerable to energy supply disruptions, and increasing the ability for OPEC and Russia to use energy as a geopolitical weapon,” wrote Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator John Barrasso, the top Republican on the energy committee.

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The SPR, created to shield the country from supply disruptions after the 1970s-era Arab oil embargo, currently holds 365 million barrels, about half its total capacity. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has said the department plans to refill the reserve to pre-war levels when prices are “advantageous to the taxpayer.”



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