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Senator Hassan Leads New England Delegation Calling for President Biden to Lower Energy Costs by Releasing Oil from Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve

Senators’ Bipartisan Call Comes as New England Braces for Winter Amid High Energy Prices; Effort Builds on Senator Hassan’s Leadership to Lower Energy Costs; Has Led the Call in Congress for a Gas Tax Holiday and Worked to Successfully Push Administration to Release Oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) led all New England Senators in a bipartisan call for the Biden Administration to take action to lower energy costs for New Englanders as the winter season approaches and Americans continue to face high energy costs. 

In the letter, the Senators write, “As winter approaches, we are calling for federal action to help bring down heating costs for households in our region, including releasing stockpiles from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve.” 

They continue, “With lower inventories of crude oil, propane, and natural gas and the continued global disruption caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine contributing to a sharp rise in residential energy costs, we urge the administration to closely monitor the energy needs of the Northeast and release stock from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve.”

The full list of Senators who signed the bipartisan letter include: Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ed Markey (D-MA).

The text of the letter is available here and below. 

Dear President Biden:

As winter approaches, we are calling for federal action to help bring down heating costs for households in our region, including releasing stockpiles from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. Given the current state of energy markets, particularly in New England, we urge you to consider additional targeted actions in preparation for the cold weather season.

To help combat the increased cost of heating oil, we believe that now is an appropriate time to release inventory from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, similar to the action you took earlier this year with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at our urging. Doing so can help address constrained regional energy supplies and recent residential energy price increases.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, in its August Short-Term Energy Outlook, forecasts a significant increase in energy prices, particularly in the Northeast. These increased costs will have an outsized impact on households that heat with natural gas, propane, and heating oil – which includes many of our constituents. These costs can have a very real effect on the ability of many New England families to keep their homes at a safe temperature this winter. No family should have to make the decision between paying their bill to keep their children warm, putting food on the table, and keeping the lights on. As New Englanders purchase heating oil and propane for the winter season, it is vital that the administration use all tools available to bring down fuel prices and ensure that there is adequate supply to meet demand.

With lower inventories of crude oil, propane, and natural gas and the continued global disruption caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine contributing to a sharp rise in residential energy costs, we urge the administration to closely monitor the energy needs of the Northeast and release stock from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. This action is consistent with the discretion granted to the President under 42 U.S.C. § 6250b, in order to directly and significantly reduce the adverse impact of a significant regional shortage of home heating oil.

This is a critical economic issue facing millions of Americans, and we appreciate your attention to this important matter.

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