Golden Leads New England Lawmakers to Call on President Biden to Tap Federal Heating Oil and Gas Reserves, Limit Natural Gas Exports

November 15, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — With heating oil and gas prices rising fast, Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) led a group of 12 New England lawmakers to urge President Biden today to take decisive action to ease home heating costs for New England families this winter. The members of Congress called on the president to release inventory from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve (NEHHOR) and Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and to limit natural gas exports

“To ensure that no family must choose between heating their homes and making ends meet, we implore you to consider releasing inventory from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve consistent with statute, as well as limiting natural gas exports, to increase energy supply in the region,” wrote the lawmakers. “At a time when nearly 30 percent of households are forgoing other expenses to pay their energy bills, these actions could meaningfully bring energy prices down for New England households and allow them to keep the lights on and the thermostat up during the winter months.”

The NEHHOR holds one million barrels of ultra low sulfur diesel designated for heating oil. By law, the President is authorized to draw down and sell oil from the NEHHOR in the event of a severe energy supply disruption, or any other significant regional supply shortage whose adverse impact would be reduced by such a sale.

Established in 1975, the SPR currently holds more than 600 million barrels of oil. By law, the President is authorized to draw down and sell oil from the SPR in the event of a severe supply interruption and a resulting severe price increase. Presidents from both parties have ordered SPR drawdowns and sales in 1991, 2005, and 2011.

The New England congressional delegation has consistently pressed for action to ensure affordable heating for New England families. In 2019, every single member of the New England House delegation issued a statement opposing cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Joining Golden to sign the letter were Reps. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Chris Pappas (NH-01), David Cicilline (RI-01), John Larson (CT-01), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Bill Keating (MA-09), Ann Mclane Kuster (NH-02), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), and Lori Trahan (MA-03).

Read a copy of the letter here.