Kuster helps to introduce bill to lower gas prices
WASHINGTON — This week, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a senior Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, joined Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. in introducing the Buy Low and Sell High Act. This bill would create an Economic Petroleum Reserve designed to continue the trend of declining gasoline prices and generate money for American taxpayers by empowering the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to buy oil when prices are low and sell oil when prices are high.
“While Granite State families have seen some relief from the price of gas, more work remains to ease the burden of high fuel prices on people in New Hampshire,” said Rep. Kuster. “Until America becomes energy independent, we will continue to face the consequences of an unpredictable oil market controlled primarily by foreign adversarial governments. We need to take action to shield American families from price volatility and this legislation is a win-win for our economy, our environment, and all Granite Staters.”
After the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo of 1973 – 1974, Congress created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to insulate Americans from global oil supply disruptions. While President Biden has successfully used the SPR to lower gas prices – which have fallen more than $1.30 per gallon since June – new authorities are needed to ensure that OPEC and Russia cannot continue to manipulate global oil prices to the detriment of American consumers.
The Buy Low and Sell High Act empowers the president to better protect American consumers by designating a subset of the SPR as the “Economic Petroleum Reserve” (EPR). It grants DOE the ability to sell barrels from the EPR when prices are high, ensuring that Americans get immediate price relief instead of waiting months or years. The new EPR would consist of up to 350 million barrels of oil. DOE would have the authority to purchase oil for the EPR at prices lower than $60 per barrel and then could sell oil when prices are higher than $90 per barrel.
In addition to creating the EPR, the Buy Low and Sell High Act also:
• Establishes strategic gasoline and diesel reserves in every region of the United States, ensuring product can be deployed immediately during emergencies;
• Prohibits barrels stored within the SPR from being exported or sold to entities owned, controlled, or influenced by our foreign adversaries;
• Reduces our reliance on foreign oil and empowers states to lead the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by investing profits from oil sales in state EV infrastructure programs;
• Lowers gasoline prices and improves our energy security by funding improvements at oil refineries located in allied countries; and
• Ensures that the federal government leads by example and sets targets for acquiring a fully zero-emission federal vehicle fleet.