Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., spoke out against President Biden’s decision to release another 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, noting that while it may lower gas prices at the moment, it places the United States at great risk.
Biden rejected the idea that releasing the oil is for political purposes, despite the move resulting in Americans getting hit less hard at the gas pump right before the midterm elections than was the case over the summer. Speaking to reporters following a campaign rally in Palm Beach County, Florida, Rubio appeared to disagree.
“Well, he’s doing it to lower gas prices because he’s afraid of the impact. And unfortunately what’s happened now is our strategic reserve is at its lowest level, I believe since 1982 or ’83,” Rubio said. “We have a strategic reserve for war, for in case of drastic emergency. It doesn’t exist to bail out the president’s party in an election year.”
Rubio, who is facing off against Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., in a Florida Senate race, explained why this is such a problem.
“What people have to understand is not only are they leaving us dangerously low, but we’re going to have to replenish the strategic reserve and we’re going to pay a lot more money for it.,” he said. “So not only are we depleting our reserves, we’re going to have to go buy oil from some other country and pay, in some cases, 33% more than we paid originally to replenish our strategic reserves. So what he’s doing is very dangerous, very short-sighted, and it’s wrong. And I wish he would stop doing it, it’s harming the country.”
Earlier, while discussing inflation, Rubio stated that when the price of gas goes up, the price of everything else goes up too. Part of the problem, he said is that the U.S. does not produce like it used to.
“We’re cutting back on supply because we don’t make things in America anymore. We need to bring back manufacturing to this country, and we need to start with energy – natural gas and oil,” he said. “Not only does that make America an easier place to manufacture, an attractive place to manufacture, it would lower the cost of living for millions of Americans almost immediately.”
Rubio added: “If he announced tomorrow that we were producing more oil, the price of oil would drop as a result of that.”