On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain responded to criticisms by Republicans that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve should only be used for emergencies and that President Joe Biden is using it for political purposes by stating that he can’t take Republicans seriously because “we had Republicans say, hey, he needs to do something about gas prices, and then we did something about gas prices, and they’re, like, well, don’t do that.” And that Biden has been releasing from the reserve for the past year, which has lowered prices.
Co-host Joe Scarborough asked, “So, Ron, the President announced that we were going to be releasing 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Republicans, some Republicans have come out and been very critical, said that that should never be tapped into except in cases of war and that the President was only doing this because an election was a couple of weeks away. What’s your response to those criticisms?”
Klain responded, “Well, I’d say first of all, we had Republicans say, hey, he needs to do something about gas prices, and then we did something about gas prices, and they’re, like, well, don’t do that. So, it’s hard for me to take the criticism very seriously. Look, we’ve had a policy this year of a historic release from the petroleum reserve, and it’s worked to bring the price of gas down. Over the summer, it fell 98 days in a row, in part thanks to those releases. And by the way, not just us. The President worked to get other countries to do the same thing. India did a SPRO release, Japan, South Korea. We brought the world together as part of this effort, again, to deal with the consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine. We brought the price of gas down all summer long, almost $1.50. And then, around this action with Saudi Arabia, it started to go back up a bit. So, the President, again, brought the same tools to the table. Part of that was the release from the reserve you mentioned, Joe, but also part of what he announced yesterday was setting a price to refill the reserve, which gives the U.S. oil industry incentives to continue to explore and to produce more. We’re going to see record oil production in this country in 2023. We want to continue to responsibly increase that as we make the transition to clean energy in the long run. We think this country can have energy security and a clean energy future. That’s the direction we’re moving America in. And the President’s announcement yesterday was both about the price of gas in the short run and a more stable energy supply in the long run.”
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