Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Fund Purchase of Crude Oil for Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Houston, April 21, 2020 | Rocio Cruz

(Houston, TX) – Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) introduced bipartisan legislation to support the energy industry by providing $3 billion in funding to purchase crude oil produced in the United States for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Representative Michael Burgess (TX-26) is the Republican lead in the House, and the bill is also cosponsored by Representatives Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Kendra Horn (OK-5), Roger Williams (TX-25), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Mike Conaway (TX-11), Marc Veasey (TX-11), and Bill Flores (TX-17).  Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) will introduce the Senate companion of this legislation.  

“Domestic production of oil and natural gas is essential to our national security, our economy, and our energy future, including our ability to drive innovation and production of cleaner energy,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “Our energy producers are facing an unprecedented challenge that will have long-term ramifications for our energy independence and our energy future.  Congress has an opportunity to provide relief for those who produce the energy we use every day and to make a strategic purchase that benefits all Americans.  I am proud to introduce this legislation with broad, bipartisan support to do just that.”

“Today's energy markets are in crisis due to the impact of COVID-19 and the senseless and malicious actions of the OPEC countries and the Russians,” said Congressman Michael Burgess. “Filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the right thing to do for a number of reasons. This action would improve the energy security of the United States, save taxpayer money, and address the shortage of storage for crude oil, while also giving American producers a brief window of relief to make plans for the new realities in the marketplace. This is why I joined in introducing this legislation, which is a targeted, prudent action that would allow the department to act quickly to address a temporary oversupply of oil in the market. We had previous opportunities that were not taken, I am grateful this legislation is on the road to solving a problem.”

“Our nation’s oil industry is essential to our economic and national security, and we need to do all we can to support our oil and gas workers. Given the challenges in our energy markets, we need to pass this legislation to fund the purchase of U.S. crude for the SPR and help alleviate supply pressures,” said Senator John Hoeven, who is introducing the Senate bill.  “This legislation supports a crucial U.S. industry and its workers, as well as the American taxpayers who will benefit from greater economic and national security.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented economic crisis, greatly impacting the energy sector in Texas and across the nation. During these challenging times, we must invest in both renewable energy as well as preserve the record economic gains in the oil and gas industry the United States has obtained in the recent years. For this reason, I am co-sponsoring this legislation so we can fund and replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to protect the global market from a supply disruption. We must defend the energy sector and take care of the millions of American working families who rely on it. Replenishing the SPR will not only strengthen our economic well-being, but also our national security,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar. 

Congressman Kelly Armstrong said: “Foreign manipulation of oil prices and the economic effects of COVID-19 are threatening America’s energy independence. The U.S. energy industry strengthens our national security and is a major economic driver, employing millions of workers directly and indirectly. The purchase of oil for the nation’s strategic reserves will help domestic producers withstand these forces outside their control and protect our energy security.”

“Right now, Oklahomans are facing a historic health and economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and made worse by the destabilization of energy markets,” said Congresswoman Kendra Horn. “As workers in the oil and gas industry struggle to make ends meet, our nation is still counting on them to power hospitals and essential services. We must take action now to help an industry that supports nearly a fifth of our state’s workforce and fuels our nation’s economy. Today’s bipartisan bill does just that by providing resources to replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”

“Our energy workers and sector are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and foreign price wars,” said Congressman Vicente Gonzalez. “Purchasing $3 billion from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is one way to maintain the integrity of America’s oil and gas global leadership and provide much-needed relief for the energy sector. Millions of jobs are at stake in Texas and others if we do not act expeditiously.”

“As Texas producers struggle to adapt to a quickly changing energy landscape, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has capacity to help pick up some of the slack,” said Congressman Marc Veasey. “During this time, we must work together to ensure hardworking Americans can keep their jobs, and I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation that will help Texans working in oil and gas sectors that our so important to our state and nation’s economy.”

The legislation will allow the Department of Energy to purchase oil, which will provide relief for domestic oil producers and help stabilize the energy markets.

The text of the legislation is available here.