By amassing crude oil reserves near U.S. coasts, the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers want to project a U.S. image of being a reliable oil-producing nation with the kind of stability that would be sought by potential investors in oil and gas exploration in the United States.
In hopes of showing up Washington as a protector of American interests abroad, Sen. Cory Booker’s bipartisan bill with Biden would unlock the reserves, which are currently inaccessible to both existing and potential explorers for oil and gas drilling. The move would allow the United States to obtain more favorable pricing for the reserves and have the associated petroleum shipping routes run along its coasts rather than other states.
The reserves, which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer would like to tap also, total more than 1bn barrels. They are located throughout the U.S. but mainly, and primarily, along the Texas Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and in Alaska’s Cook Inlet area.
It’s a useful tool for U.S. energy security and it would be different in the case of China for instance, than it would be with some other neighboring oil-producing nations like Iran or Iraq, either.
Biden has been negotiating with the administration on approving the Obama-era plan, and it’s unclear whether progress has been made.