EPRINC Fellow Tristan Abbey has written this open letter titled “Did Biden Break the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?” The letter was sent on October 27, 2022 to Senators Joe Manchin and John Barrasso, chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
The letter calls for a bipartisan investigation into the operational impacts of the White House’s “historic 180-million-barrel drawdown” focusing on the following quetisons:
- Have maintenance requirements — well remediation, cavern closure, pipeline and pump replacements, etc. — increased as a result of the drawdown?
- Have any caverns collapsed or been closed temporarily or permanently as a result of the drawdown? Does the administration intend to close down any caverns or sites as a result of the SPR’s depletion? If so, which ones and over what time period?
- What is the current status of Life Extension II, the long-awaited $1.4 billion modernization program? Has it fallen further behind schedule?
- If the administration does refill the SPR, will the construction of new caverns and other infrastructure be required? Will an equal volume of oil be bought that was sold?