Obama Taps Strategic Petroleum Reserve To Play Politics

Yesterday morning, the Obama Administration announced that they would release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Less than a year ago, the Obama Administration was insisting that its moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would do no harm to our nation’s economy because we could just buy more oil from OPEC. Now, instead of allowing more production in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska, the President is tapping our strategic reserve in the salt domes of Texas and Louisiana, which will only have to be refilled later at potentially higher prices.

Tapping the SPR will do nothing to bring down oil prices in the long term, but rather distort markets even further without bringing any significant new energy supplies to market. If allowed to drill in Alaska, we could produce an extra one million barrels a day for decades, rather than one month, as the president’s plan calls for.

America is home to over 150 billion barrels of conventional oil. By developing these domestic resources, tens of thousands of Americans could be employed with well-paying jobs and energy prices would fall immediately, just as they did when President Bush ended the executive moratorium.

In response, Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, issued the following statement:

“President Obama’s energy plan is not just misguided – it is a national catastrophe. America is home to the largest fossil fuel resource base in the world. Instead of allowing Americans to go to work developing theses energy resources, President Obama continues to keep them unemployed to satisfy his anti-energy allies.

“There is at least one bright spot with this news from the White House: it seems that President Obama finally realizes that increased supply will bring down prices. But if President Obama really wants to see long-term energy prices decline, he must allow American energy workers to develop our billions of barrels of oil.

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not an ATM for the President to withdraw from when he needs a boost in his bad approval ratings. The 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR are insignificant compared to America’s massive resource base. The President should save reserves in the SPR for times of war and legitimate crisis, not Washington-created disasters.”

.