Republicans are upset with talk that the White House plans to open up the country’s emergency oil reserves to curb the raging increase in gasoline prices. GOP politicians see the potential move to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, (SPR) as a political maneuver to aid President Barack Obama’s re-election effort, The Hill
Gasoline prices average $3.84 nationally, almost double their level when Obama took office in January 2009. The SPR holds 696 million barrels of crude on the Gulf Coast.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for emergencies — not political disasters,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said in a statement Thursday. “Instead of manipulating the SPR, the White House should approve the Keystone XL pipeline, increase domestic energy exploration, cut red tape, and stop the EPA from shutting down American refineries.”
Barrasso pointed to a Feb. 28 memo from the Senate Republican Policy Committee that specified the GOP’s objections to an SPR release.
“Releasing oil from the SPR would be, at best, a short-term benefit, while continuing to neglect the long-term policies that could prevent true supply disruptions and price spikes in the future,” the memo says.
News reports last week stated that Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron had jointly agreed to tap their emergency supplies. But The White House denied there was an accord.
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