Upton Statement on President's Decision to Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve

June 23, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement today in response to the Administration's announcement that it plans to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve:

"The bottom line is this - it's hard to believe that the Administration would rather tap into our emergency supply than support legislation to produce and develop North American supplies, which will create American jobs.

"The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was designed for energy emergencies, not political convenience. Releasing our reserves to calm the market is emblematic of an Administration whose energy policy is irrational and counter-productive. Ironically, 30 million barrels - the amount the Administration plans to deplete our emergency reserves - is the exact amount of oil we could produce in just one month from resources in Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf if only the EPA would stop blocking exploration. And we could exceed that production by finally giving a green light to the Keystone XL pipeline from our ally Canada, which could bring online the capacity for 1.3 million barrels per day.

"The House passed a bill yesterday that would produce a million barrels per day of American energy and create 54,000 jobs in the process by ending the OCS permitting delays. And today, the Energy and Commerce Committee will advance a bill to expedite the Keystone project and create 100,000 jobs directly and indirectly. It's a stark contrast with this Administration's decision to drain down our reserves and signal to the world that we are vulnerable to political unrest and supply disruptions because we refuse to develop our own resources. The solution is not to deplete our reserves - it is to increase the production of American energy and strengthen partnerships with allies like Canada."

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