After President Joe Biden drew down the country’s strategic oil reserves to the lowest level in 40 years, experts warn a refill of the vast tanks could take decades or more—leaving America vulnerable in the meantime.
“It would be a very slow process even if you had the money and the facilities were all in good shape,” John Shages, who used to oversee the oil reserves for the Energy Department, told Bloomberg. “It could take decades.”
“In the meantime, with the reserve at its lowest level in 40 years, the U.S. could be vulnerable to oil price shocks. It also means that during domestic supply crunches, the nation will be left to the mercy of global exporters like Saudi Arabia, Russia and the rest of the OPEC+ cartel,” Bloomberg reported.
Over about six months ahead last year’s midterm elections, the Biden administration sold off 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to lower gas prices, marking the fastest withdrawal in history. In December, Biden announced an effort to replenish the supplies, which are intended to prevent the United States from running out of oil in the case of disruptions or crises.
But as the Washington Free Beacon reported in May, at the pace set by the Biden administration, it would take 40 years to reach the previous oil supply levels. The DOE announced in June that it purchased 3 million barrels and plans to buy 3 million more.
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