BATON ROUGE, LA – U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) released the following statement in response to the Department of Energy’s announcement to lease available storage in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to private oil storage:
“We strongly support the Department of Energy’s decision today and applaud the continued leadership of Secretary Brouillette. This is the right move to help counter the threats posed by Russia and OPEC nations as well as our current disaster. The coronavirus global public health emergency has resulted in profound decreases in demand for goods and services – having negative consequences on small businesses and industries across our nation. The current threats to America’s energy independence is extraordinary in that in addition to the first decrease in energy demand in decades, the economic warfare currently being carried out by Russia, the Saudis and others is flooding the supply side of energy markets. The solutions to fend off these foreign attacks and maintain America’s energy independence must include aggressive and decisive actions by the United States government. This is one important step in that plan.”
On March 10, Graves requested the Department of Energy to suspend planned SPR sales and to fill the excess capacity of the SPR. Efforts to include provisions in Phase 3 of the coronavirus response legislation were opposed by some Members of Congress and excluded from the law. Today’s announcement is an innovative approach that will allow for the SPR to be filled, absorbing some of the glut of domestic and global energy supplies.