U.S> Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., joined Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia in calling on President Biden to help reopen recently idled oil refineries.
This would increase refinery capacity temporarily and lower the cost of gas without sacrificing long-term clean energy production goals, according to Rep. Davids.
In addition to pushing this immediate action, Rep. Davids has repeatedly urged the President and Congressional leadership to move forward on long-term energy and inflation solutions, including fixing our supply chains, making more goods in America, and investing in our clean energy economy.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, domestic refining capacity is down to 17.9 million barrels per day, almost as low as it was in 2010.
At the same time, global refining capacity has declined by 3 million barrels per day, even as demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
This shortage of oil refining capacity is the result of an unprecedented wave of refinery closures as demand for fuel plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic—but many refineries could come back online quickly with the right assistance.
Rep. Davids and her colleagues urged the President to take action in a new resolution, stating: “in order to ensure sufficient refining capacity to reduce fuel prices and prevent fuel shortages in the near term, the President should use authorities granted him by the Defense Production Act of 1950 to provide targeted technical and financial assistance to restart certain idled refineries for a limited time.”
The resolution’s focus on a short-term increase in capacity is to address the current price spike facing consumers while also avoiding long-term impacts on the climate, noting that “restarting idled American oil refineries for a limited time could reduce gas prices and cool inflationary pressures without endangering our climate goals.”
Rep. Davids has been focused on lowering costs for Kansans, including gas prices:
• Last week, she successfully pushed the IRS to increase a tax break for small business owners and self-employed folks who rely on a vehicle for their business.
• She voted to crack down on price gouging by oil and gas companies, who have made record profits this year, despite rising gas prices.
• She introduced legislation to suspend the federal gas tax through the end of the year, saving Kansans 18 cents per gallon at a time when gas prices are reaching new highs.
• After voting for bipartisan sanctions against Russian oil, she called on President Biden to take immediate action to protect American consumers from uncertainty and rising prices, including by temporarily suspending the federal gas tax.
• Following Rep. Davids’ calls to take action on rising gas prices last fall, President Biden released 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He has now authorized the largest release in history: 1 million barrels a day for six months.
• Rep. Davids remains committed to long-term energy and inflation solutions, releasing an inflation action plan last week with the New Democrat Coalition that’s been called Congress’s “best inflation plan yet.”
- Story from Rep. Davids’ office