U.S. House passes bill limiting drawdowns from strategic oil reserve

January 28, 2023 4:18 am

The U.S. Capitol is seen through the roof of the House Visitors Center in Washington, U.S [Source: Reuters]

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday limiting the ability of the energy secretary to tap the strategic oil reserve without developing plans to increase the amount of public lands available for oil and gas drilling.

Representatives backed the bill 221 to 205, with support from only one Democrat. President Joe Biden would veto the legislation should it pass Congress, the White House said this week. The bill is expected to face an uphill battle in the Senate, which unlike the House, is controlled by Biden’s fellow Democrats.

The Strategic Production Response Act, or H.R.21, requires the U.S. energy secretary to develop a plan to increase oil and gas leasing on federal lands, including submerged ones on the Outer Continental Shelf, before tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It would not stop the president from tapping the SPR in case of an emergency, such as a hurricane that halts production of crude.

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