Oil and refined products analyst Patrick De Haan took Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert to task for her attack on Democratic President Joe Biden for restocking the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), an emergency stockpile of petroleum maintained by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).
The SPR is the largest publicly known emergency supply in the world and the current inventory is displayed on its official website. The United States started the petroleum reserve in 1975 to mitigate future supply disruptions as part of the international Agreement on an International Energy Program, after oil supplies were interrupted during the 1973–1974 oil embargo.
Biden recently announced he would restock the SPR now that oil prices have declined and purchased 3 million oil barrels to restock the reserve, the latest development in a long term strategy announced in March, when his administration released 1 million barrels of oil per day from the reserve for 180 days in an effort to combat spiking gas prices.
A furious Boebert called the move "pathetic" in a post on Twitter, declaring that former Republican President Donald Trump "stocked up our reserves at record-low prices" and that Biden "emptied it out to get through" the midterm elections.
"Now he's going to stock it back up at a MUCH higher price."
You can see Boebert's tweet below.
Boebert's message soon caught the eye of De Haan, whose career has largely concentrated on downstream oil markets, including crude oil, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
He said Boebert isn't "the best at math," noting that the SPR is currently buying back oil barrels at a significantly lower rate than what it sold them for earlier this year.
"Average selling price $96, including some sales close to $120, and the price today is $75. You're not the best at math."
You can see De Haan's tweet below.
Many have mocked Boebert following De Haan's fact-check.
Boebert's claim mirrors one Trump made last month when he announced his 2024 presidential campaign.
At the time, Trump said gas prices are "higher than ever" and that his administration “filled up” the SPR only for it to be “virtually drained” by the Biden administration to "keep gas prices lower just prior to the election."
Trump's claim was immediately fact-checked by CNN reporter Daniel Dale, who said the claim—in addition to others Trump made on a slew of other topics—is "wildly incorrect."
Dale said it's "not true" that Trump "filled up" the SPR, noting that the data on the DOE's official website shows "the Reserve had fewer barrels of oil when Trump left office than when he took office." He added that Trump "did propose at one point in his administration that the Reserve be filled up with tens of millions more barrels, but he never secured the funding for it from Congress."
Dale concluded that while Biden had indeed "released a bunch of oil to help keep oil and gas prices down," the SPR is not "virtually depleted" and is "still the world's largest strategic reserve of petroleum."