It doesn’t take an expert to recognize the failure of President Obama’s energy policies. From refusing to take common-sense steps that would ensure American energy independence to imposing unwarranted regulations that steepen costs and harm a stagnant economy, the Obama administration has stood as a roadblock to lower gas prices every step of the way.
But November is drawing near, and as Americans struggle through the highest late-August gas prices in recent history, lo and behold reports say that the White House plans to release oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, oil set aside for the direst of emergencies, like war or natural disaster.
Half of me wants gas prices to stay high until the election, which could spell disaster for Obama. But the other half has been fearful Obama would have this trick up his sleeve after all, rising gas prices are an “emergency” not only for the American public, but for Obama.
The SPR contains 696 million barrels of oil stored in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. That’s about a 2-month supply under current consumption, not much of a buffer.
The first Congressman who has called for Obama to tap the SPR is of course a Democrat: Ed Markey of Massachusetts:
“President Obama is right to use all means necessary to protect families at the gas pump from Wall Street speculators and Middle East oil dictators. Earlier this year, I called for a release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I am glad to hear the President is considering using the SPR as a shield for consumers against speculators and sheiks.
Obama raided 30 million gallons of oil from the SPR in June of 2011 in an attempt to combat rising gas prices, but of course this was only a short term bandaid. The average cost paid for the oil in the SPR was $30 per barrel, making the “cost” of his release around $900 million. But to replenish that oil at current market values is around $3 billion, which means the American taxpayers lost $2.1 billion in a purely political move. Did we have a hurricane? A major disaster? An interruption in supply? None of the above.
America has plenty of her own oil but alas, Obama and the regulatory minions won’t let us get it out of the ground. Fast-tracking the Keystone Pipeline, opening up offshore-areas for drilling, reining in the over-zealous EPA will add billions of barrels of oil to our reserves and eventually help lower prices at the pump.
GWB tapped the SPR after Hurricane Katrina, which was a real national emergency. Obama’s fear of losing the election is not.
Leave it alone Obama, for a real emergency.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks
Crossposted at Grumpy Elder