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Obama’s Fix? Tap Strategic Oil Reserves

From his slavey minions at the Associated Press:

Obama: tap nation’s oil reserve to help gas prices

By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO – In a reversal, Barack Obama is proposing tapping the nation’s strategic oil reserves to help drive down gasoline prices, his campaign said Monday.

Obama supports releasing light oil from the emergency oil stockpile now and replacing it later with heavier crude more suited to the country’s long-term needs, according to a campaign fact sheet. Light crude oil is easier to refine into gasoline than heavier oil…

Obama is emphasizing energy and the economy in campaign stops this week in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, beginning with a speech Monday in Lansing, Mich. Gas prices over $4 a gallon have become a top issue in the presidential contest.

In the past, Obama has not advocated tapping the oil reserve, but campaign spokeswoman Heather Zichal said he has reconsidered. “He recognizes that Americans are suffering,” she said.

The nation’s strategic petroleum reserve contains 707.2 million barrels in salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. It was last tapped shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Otherwise, President Bush has refused to use the reserves, saying they need to be left intact as an emergency stockpile. However, in the face of strong congressional pressure, Bush in June stopped filling the reserve until oil prices decline.

Obama’s call for using the government reserve mirrors a proposal that has been pushed by congressional Democrats, but opposed by Republican leaders and the White House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for weeks has called for Bush to withdraw a “small amount” of oil from the government reserve to add to supplies and try to force down prices.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has tried to get agreement on legislation that would require the release of 70 million barrels of oil from the government stockpile over six months with the oil to be returned at a later date.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is capable of releasing about 4 million barrels a day. It’s unclear what impact such release might have on global oil prices, or costs of gasoline at the pump. But a clear signal by the United States to use its emergency reserve to a significant extent could put downward pressure on oil markets at least for a time, energy experts say

Don’t Mr. Obama or Ms. Pelosi or any of the other Democrats ever watch the news?

Haven’t they seen today’s latest threat from Iran to close the Straits of Hormuz? Don’t they like to remind us that we are fighting two wars in the Middle East?

Don’t they have any idea of the purpose behind the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve program?

These are all rhetorical questions, of course.

It’s unclear what impact such release might have on global oil prices, or costs of gasoline at the pump. But a clear signal by the United States to use its emergency reserve to a significant extent could put downward pressure on oil markets at least for a time, energy experts say.

Funny how something completely meaningless like tapping the oil reserves will do this, and yet we are assured that lifting bans on drilling will have no effect on oil prices.

Besides, as even Wikipedia notes:

Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The current inventory is displayed on the SPR’s website. As of July 15, 2008, the current inventory was 706.2 million barrels… This equates to 33 days of oil at current daily US consumption levels of 21 million barrels a day.

Making all of the US reserves available would only be enough oil for the US for 33 days.

So what real difference would releasing “a small” amount make? None whatsoever of course.

Except to make it seem like the Democrats are doing something when in fact they are doing nothing — except enjoying their five week summer vacation.

(Thanks to Dodgeboy27 for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 4th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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