Three Republican senators introduced a bill this week to ban the White House from tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — which will be tempting for Obama as gas prices shoot skyward in an election year — unless the administration approves the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Strategic Petroleum Supplies Act from Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) stipulates that no sales can be authorized from the reserve until all permits for the Keystone application dated Sept. 19, 2008, have been issued.

“The White House’s domestic energy priorities are so mixed up right now that they’d rather open our strategic reserves than allow us to increase our own domestic production,” Vitter said. “The Keystone XL pipeline is yet another example of the president putting a political agenda in front of common-sense energy policy. It’s as if this administration had never heard of the economics of supply and demand…unless it becomes politically expedient to release from our strategic reserves to influence gas prices when there is a looming election.”

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Hoeven, with 44 co-sponsors including Vitter and Lugar, introduced a bill on Jan. 30 to approve the Keystone XL pipeline “and provide for environmental protection and government oversight.” That’s been placed on the Senate’s legislative calendar.