Sullivan Urges Dept. of Energy to Fill Strategic Petroleum Reserve with American Oil

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) took action to help stabilize American energy markets and Alaska’s economy and fiscal future by calling on the U.S. Department of Energy to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with only American-produced oil, including oil from Alaska.

On Friday, President Trump announced that he was directing the Department of Energy to purchase crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an emergency fuel storage. More than 77 million barrels of crude is required to fill the reserve. In recent discussions with the Secretary of Energy, Senator Sullivan proposed that only oil produced in the United States be purchased to fill the reserve. Such a move by the Department of Energy could help shore up energy markets and support the economies of states, like Alaska, that depend on oil production to help fund state budgets. 

“My first priority is the physical health and well-being of Alaskans as we face these challenging times together. We’re currently working on legislation to strengthen the safety net for individuals and families who are being negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Sullivan. “I’m also focused on Alaska’s economy. As Alaskans know, the energy sector is a critical component of our economy. Oil taxes and royalties account for a majority of the revenues that fund our state budget. The energy sector supports tens of thousands of jobs in Alaska, and millions of jobs across the country. It’s crucial that we do what we can to shore up our domestic energy market by purchasing only American-produced, and in particular for our state, Alaskan-produced oil—all of which the Department of Energy has the authority to do. Furthermore, they need to take these actions as quickly as possible.”

As the coronavirus threatens the health and well-being of Alaskans, Senator Sullivan – working in close coordination with local, tribal, state and federal officials – is committed to battling this pandemic on many fronts, including the physical health of Alaskans, the wellbeing of our families and workers, the vitality of different sectors of Alaska’s economy, and the fiscal stability of the state of Alaska.  

As it relates to the energy sector, in addition to this action on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Senators Sullivan and Murkowski along with 12 of their colleagues, wrote a letter to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud urging the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to halt its recent efforts to boost oil production and lower crude oil prices as the United States and the rest of the world struggle with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.