Joe Biden

Memorandum on the Finding of a Severe Energy Supply Interruption

March 31, 2022

Memorandum for the Secretary of Energy

Subject: Finding of a Severe Energy Supply Interruption

The Russian Federation's unjustified, unprovoked, and unconscionable war against Ukraine, including its further invasion in violation of international law and its ongoing destructive military campaign across Ukraine, has had a profound impact on global oil markets. On March 1, 2022, the International Energy Agency Governing Board agreed to a collective release of petroleum reserves and the United States committed to a drawdown and sale of 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Since that time, the Russian Federation has escalated its attacks across broad swaths of Ukrainian territory and has devastated the civilian population. The United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation's economy and financial system. Public recognition of the gravity of the Russian Federation's actions has precipitated a significant reduction in international economic engagement with Russian businesses, including with respect to transactions not currently subject to sanctions.

Based on information from and advice of the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) and on other information, I find and determine, in accordance with section 161(d) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), 42 U.S.C. 6241(d), that a drawdown and sale of petroleum from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is required by a severe energy supply interruption, as defined in 42 U.S.C. 6202(8), on the basis that there is a national energy supply shortage that:

(A) is, or is likely to be, of significant scope and duration, and of an emergency nature;

(B) may cause major adverse impact on national safety or the national economy; and

(C) results, or is likely to result, from an interruption in the supply of imported petroleum products.

For these reasons, the Secretary is authorized and directed to draw down and sell petroleum from the SPR at public sale to the highest qualified bidder at a rate the Secretary may determine, in accordance with section 161 of EPCA and the SPR competitive sales procedures in 10 CFR Part 625. If the Secretary determines the circumstances leading to this finding no longer support initiation or continuation of a drawdown and sale of petroleum from the SPR, the Secretary is authorized to cancel in whole or in part any offer to sell petroleum as a part of any drawdown and sale pursuant to this finding.

Signature of Joe Biden

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this memorandum.

Joseph R. Biden, Memorandum on the Finding of a Severe Energy Supply Interruption Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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