Trone, Pallone reintroduce legislation to lower gas prices
Credit: The Garrett County Republican
“WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman David Trone (MD-06), alongside House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone and other members of Congress, reintroduced the Buy Low and Sell High Act, legislation that creates an Economic Petroleum Reserve designed to help continue the current trend of falling gasoline prices and save money for American taxpayers by empowering the Department of Energy (DOE) to buy oil when prices are low and sell oil when prices are high.
“For nearly a year, Americans have suffered from Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine. We need to establish long-term strategies to keep these conflicts away from our local economies and protect Americans’ wallets,” said Congressman Trone. “This legislation will do just that by providing the Executive Branch with the authority to think smarter about our energy sources and make our country more resilient against market manipulation by other countries.”
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 the Administration has successfully used the SPR to lower gas prices — which have fallen more than $1.37 per gallon since its high in June of 2022 — Trone believes new authorities are needed to ensure that OPEC and Russia cannot continue to manipulate global oil prices to harm the American economy and its consumers.
“This legislation proposes meaningful, thoughtful solutions for managing our SPR – including by empowering DOE to buy oil when prices are low and sell when prices are high,” said Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Not only would this measure protect drivers from price fluctuations and make money for taxpayers, but it also uses the proceeds from those sales to build out our nation’s electric vehicle infrastructure.
“It’s a win-win, and I’m proud to have partnered with Congressman Trone on introducing this commonsense legislation.”
The Buy Low and Sell High Act gives the president the ability to better protect American consumers by granting the DOE the ability to sell a 350-million barrel subset, called the Economic Petroleum Reserve, from the SPR when prices are high, ensuring that Americans get immediate price relief instead of waiting months or years.
A recent Wall Street Journal analysis found that the United States made nearly $4 billion in profit from President Biden’s recent SPR sales.
In addition to creating this cost-saving strategy, this bill 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 China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, or any other country under U.S. sanctions;
Lowers gasoline prices and improves our energy security by funding improvements at oil refineries located in allied countries;
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; and,
Ensures that the federal government leads by example and sets targets for acquiring a fully zero-emission federal vehicle fleet.
Other original cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Jason Crow (D-CO), Annie Kuster (D-NH), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)”