The Obama administration is looking to create an economic justification for selling oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) that would really just be an excuse to push down soaring gasoline prices, says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank.
“Looking to avoid the political perils of $4 gasoline, the White House is searching high and low for a chance to claim leadership on energy prices,” Holtz-Eakin, chief economic adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of GOP Sen. John McCain, writes on Politico
“That’s why one of their top allies in economics, Austan Goolsbee, took to the editorial pages last week to launch a clever — but too cute — argument to justify a politically motivated oil sale from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”
That argument is that there’s too much oil in the SPR, so some should be sold. “The politics are simple,” Holtz-Eakin writes. “Craft an argument that we have too much oil in the SPR and use it to justify a sale for strategic purposes, then convince the electorate you’re working to lower gas prices.”
But an extended oil embargo from the Mideast would prove we need all our reserves, he maintains. Moreover, domestic supply could be disrupted by a natural disaster or terrorism.
“Goolsbee’s argument is a clever way to help the White House justify an SPR release,” Holtz-Eakin writes. “I bet you’ll see it echoed by the White House soon.”
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