The Biden administration announced plans Thursday to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) two years after Democrats blocked the Trump administration’s similar, but cheaper proposal.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said it would initiate a long-term SPR replenishment plan involving a purchase of 60 million barrels of oil that would likely occur in 2023, according to the announcement. President Joe Biden has ordered a 50-million-barrel SPR release in November, a 30-million-barrel release on March 1 and a 180-million-barrel release on March 31 to combat rising gasoline prices.
The price of crude oil touched its highest level in nearly 11 years on Wednesday amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis which has roiled energy markets.
The WTI index, the U.S. benchmark index, surged to $112.09 per barrel, its highest level since May 2011, early Wednesday before receding near $108 per barrel, marketplace data showed. The global Brent crude benchmark approached $114 per barrel then dropped below $111 a barrel.
The top House Republican on a key oversight subcommittee has pushed a series of conflict-of-interest probes into the Biden administration over its ties to the renewable energy industry.
Republican South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, the ranking member on the Oversight Subcommittee on Environment, has probed leadership in the White House, Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demanding accountability for potential conflicts of interests since President Joe Biden took office more than a year ago. While committee Democrats haven’t cooperated with the investigations, Norman and Oversight Ranking Member James Comer have forged ahead.
“The people in the administrations have no regard for the office that they hold,” Norman told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced Tuesday the release of millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to combat soaring gas prices.
The DOE approved the release of 13.4 million barrels from its SPR, marking the second-largest exchange from the reserve and bringing the total amount of oil released from the cache to almost 40 million barrels.
Exchange contracts for the released oil have were awarded to seven companies. President Joe Biden authorized a plan in November 2021 to release 50 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR in a coordinated effort with China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. to combat surging gas prices and assist in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced Thursday that it would begin hiring 1,000 employees for its so-called Clean Energy Corps which will be tasked with fighting climate change.
The new climate unit will be composed of both current DOE employees and the 1,000 recruits, according to the announcement. The Clean Energy Corps was created by the recently-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which appropriated $62 billion to the DOE for accelerating the nation’s transition to renewables.
“This is an open call for all Americans who are passionate about taking a proactive role in tackling the climate crisis and want to join the team that is best positioned to lead this transformative work,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a message to applicants.
A large group of House Republicans penned a letter to top Biden administration officials Friday, urging them not to ban U.S. crude oil exports.
The GOP lawmakers, led by Texas Reps. Roger Williams and August Pfluger, said the move would be a “catastrophic mistake” and further exacerbate high energy prices in the letter addressed to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. The congressmen noted that a previous crude oil export ban had been opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike.
“President Biden’s war on American energy continues with his Administration’s latest discussions to reinstate the export ban on crude oil, which was repealed in 2015 on a bipartisan vote,” Williams said in a statement.
Expanding U.S. nuclear power — an energy source that many environmentalists and lawmakers oppose — could be the most reliable way to achieve a carbon-free electricity grid, according to experts.
Nuclear energy is considered a renewable energy source because it produces zero emissions through fission, the process of splitting uranium atoms, according to the Department of Energy. Currently, nuclear accounts for about 9% of total U.S. energy consumption, slightly less than all other renewable energy sources combined and coal, government data showed.
As the supply chain crisis continues to worsen, Americans can expect to pay higher energy costs in order to maintain heating in the coming winter, says Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, Granholm said “this is going to happen…it will be more expensive this year than last year.”
While Granholm claimed that “we are in a slightly beneficial position…relative to Europe,” she nonetheless admitted that the United States has “the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have, which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires.”
The U.S. has reduced emissions more than any other country in the world despite former President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accords.
“In the last 10 years, the emissions reduction in the United States has been the largest in the history of energy,” International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol said at a Department of Energy press conference in 2019. “Almost 800 million tons. This is a huge decline of emissions.”
The Democrats’ reconciliation package will likely include more than $500 billion worth of climate provisions, more than the entire Department of Energy budget, the White House said, according to The Hill.
The budget represents an opportunity for “historic investment in climate change,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said during an event hosted by The Hill on Tuesday evening. The likely price tag for climate programs included in the bill is likely to fall somewhere between $500 billion and $555 billion, Axios previously reported.
The U.S. Justice Department unsealed a criminal complaint Sunday alleging that a Navy engineer and his wife repeatedly tried to pass secrets about U.S. nuclear submarines to a foreign power in a plot thwarted by an undercover FBI agent.
Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and his wife Diana, 45, both of Annapolis, Md,. were arrested Saturday in West Virginia by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service on espionage-related charges of violating the Atomic Energy Act, officials said.
Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso asked the Department of Energy’s watchdog to investigate Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s continued involvement with an electric car company.
Sen. John Barrasso, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, wrote a letter of concern to Department of Energy Inspector General Teri Donaldson Tuesday, warning of the potential conflict of interest. Barrasso said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm continues to own millions of dollars worth of stock in Proterra, a company that has a direct stake in her department’s work.
“Proterra, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of electric buses, batteries, and charging stations — and has been described as such by officials within the Biden Administration,” Barrasso wrote.