Helen Raleigh writes for the Federalist about the president’s poor record of keeping promises.

President Joe Biden’s Energy Department canceled its plan to purchase millions of barrels of oil to refill the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The cancellation means the Biden administration is unlikely to fulfill its promise of fully replenishing the SPR by the end of the year, and the SPR will remain at a historically low level after the administration depleted it in 2022. 

The depletion of the SPR was caused by the Biden administration’s own failed energy policy. Shortly after he came into office, President Biden issued a series of anti-fossil fuel energy policies, including canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline project and halting leasing on federal lands for oil and gas production. Biden’s energy policies strangled American energy production and supply and caused energy prices to soar. According to the Heritage Foundation, “from January 2021 to January 2022, crude oil prices increased 45 percent, blowing past records set in 2008. Gasoline and diesel prices are the highest on record since the Energy Information Administration started keeping track in 1993.”

Rising energy prices inflicted economic pain on Americans but were a gift to Russia, the world’s largest natural gas exporter and one of the leading oil suppliers. Revenue from the energy sector has helped Russia’s Putin build up his foreign exchange reserves and enabled him to finance his invasion of Ukraine. President Biden conveniently blamed the Russia-Ukraine war rather than his energy policies for rising energy prices. 

Seeking to appease American voters before the midterm elections in 2022, the Biden administration sold off more than 40 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in 2022 in a futile effort to help limit energy prices from rising too high too fast. The administration’s action did little to lower energy prices meaningfully but left the SPR at its lowest levels since the 1980s.