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Several Democratic Representatives have proposed new legislation that would allow the Department of Energy to buy and sell oil with the purpose of lowering gasoline prices and funding electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. introduced on Monday the Buy Low and Sell High Act, new legislation under which an Economic Petroleum Reserve would be created. The goal is “to continue the trend of falling gasoline prices and make money for American taxpayers by empowering the Department of Energy (DOE) to buy oil when prices are low and sell oil when prices are high,” Pallone’s office said.
The legislation would permit the Department of Energy to create within the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) an Economic Petroleum Reserve (EPR) of up to 350 million barrels of oil, under which DOE can sell oil when prices exceed $90 per barrel and purchase oil at prices below $60 per barrel.
“Part of the proceeds from EPR barrel sales would go to fund state energy programs for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) deployment and other projects that reduce petroleum consumption, medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification, and a technical assistance program to increase crude oil throughput rates at refineries in allied Western Hemisphere countries,” the proposed legislation reads.
“Americans are tired of bearing the burden of our dependence on a volatile, unpredictable oil market controlled primarily by foreign dictators and adversaries. It’s time for new, innovative solutions to keep bringing prices down, and that’s where the Economic Petroleum Reserve comes in,” said Pallone.
“By empowering DOE to buy oil when prices are low and sell when they are high, my bill helps us regain control of domestic gas prices and protects drivers from future price fluctuations,” the Congressman added.
The bill would also establish strategic gasoline and diesel reserves in every region of the United States, ensuring the product can be deployed immediately during emergencies, such as the Colonial Pipeline malware attack from last year.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com