Committee Leaders Seek Information on DOE’s Management of SPR

May 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today wrote to Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz regarding the management of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in light of recent changes and developments.

DOE recently announced the test sale of 5 million barrels of SPR oil, which the letter highlights “occurred against the backdrop of increased oil production nationwide as well as continuing threats of global energy supply interruptions, the first changeover in SPR’s management and operating (M&O) contractor in twenty years, and an aging SPR infrastructure.” Additionally, the FY 2015 DOE budget proposes moving forward with several major deferred maintenance programs, and earlier this month DOE announced the creation of the first regional refined petroleum reserve in response to Superstorm Sandy. Two locations in the Northeast will each store 500,000 barrels of gasoline to provide short-term relief in the event of a future disruption.

The committee leaders write, “Efficient and effective management of the SPR is an important component of our nation’s energy security. As the summer driving season approaches and tensions in some of the world’s most resource-rich areas and elsewhere show no sign of abating, the obligation of Congress, and especially this committee, to remain vigilant in its oversight of DOE’s stewardship of this important program is clear. In order to help the committee understand DOE’s management and operation of the SPR, as well as to evaluate its recently announced plans to create a regional refined petroleum product reserve, we request that you contact committee staff to arrange a briefing with appropriate DOE Office of Fossil Energy, SPR Project Management Office, and/or M&O contractor staff, to occur no later than Tuesday, May 27, 2014.”

The letter was signed by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), and full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

To view a full copy of the letter, click HERE.