The SPR sale announced last month is part of a broader 60-million-barrel release from nations’ emergency reserves undertaken through the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IEA said last week that it’s not currently planning a follow-up release, and McConnell said that he’s not aware of any U.S. plans to release additional oil from the SPR. “I am not aware of any unilateral U.S. next step,” he said.
The SPR release has drawn criticism from a number of Republicans, who called it a misuse of the reserve for political purposes at a time when the White House is facing political jeopardy from high energy prices.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), the top Republican on the energy committee, revived her criticism during the hearing and her view that tighter criteria are needed governing decisions to release oil.