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  • Morning Bell: Don't Tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

    As gas prices hit $4 per gallon, White House spokesman Jay Carney assured Americans on Monday that the administration is well aware of the toll high fuel costs are taking on American families. So what’s President Obama’s solution to America’s pain? According to White House chief of staff Bill Daley, the administration may tap into the nation’s oil safety net – the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) – in order to bring down the cost of fuel. Big mistake. While most folks want to pay less at the pump, dipping into our oil reserves is a short-sighted political ploy that papers-over a much bigger, long-term problem: the Obama administration’s continuing refusal to grant America access to its domestic oil resources.

    The United States’ oil reserves were created after the 1973 Arab oil embargo to be used in cases of national crisis where there’s a significant shortage of oil — today it holds about 700 million barrels of petroleum. Presidents have used it sparingly — during the 1991 Gulf War and natural disasters such as Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, for example. Yet, six Democratic senators called for the sale of the reserve oil to go toward advancing electric cars and reducing the deficit. The reserves are not intended to spur sales of electric cars (which also require gasoline).

    Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), called on the president to use the SPR, saying it’s “the only tool we possess which can counter supply disruptions and combat crippling price spikes in the short term.”  Of course this isn’t true, and the SPR is not a “tool.”  The Markey/Obama energy agenda is absolutely creating major economic problems, but not the national security emergency the SPR is intended to help alleviate.

    Yesterday, CEOs from the world’s biggest oil companies said that there is not, in fact, a shortage of oil, that OPEC producers like Saudi Arabia “have the capacity to fill the gap” in oil supply brought on by the crisis in Libya, and that the United States should not tap its reserves. What’s more, given the continuing unrest in the Middle East, there may come a time when the United States truly needs its energy safety net. For example, an Iranian blockade of the Strait of Hormuz could create a significant disruption of global commerce. To empty the reserves in order to provide political cover to a disastrous energy agenda would be irresponsible and reckless.

    The debate over emptying the reserves also misses the point that they would need to be refilled. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directs the Department of Energy to refill the reserves as expeditiously as possible. There is no end in sight to high oil prices, and the United States is already losing billions of dollars in oil royalties from President Obama’s unilateral decision to decrease offshore drilling. We cannot debate emptying the reserves without also discussing how they will be refilled.

    There is something the White House should do, though — restore and expand America’s oil supply. Time after time, the Obama administration has thrown up roadblocks that restrict U.S. domestic oil supply, thereby increasing world oil prices and the amount of oil we import. President Obama has rescinded drilling permits, excluded the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts from its oil and gas leasing program, all while federal leasing of oil and gas exploration in the western United States has dropped significantly. Instead of pursuing domestic energy sources, the White House has invested in biofuels, alternative energy and electric vehicles — all of which are bad policy. There’s a better way. Heritage’s James Carafano and Nicolas Loris write:

    As the only country in the world that places a majority of its territorial waters off-limits to oil and gas exploration, the U.S. should at the very least be drilling in the areas where it does have access. Removing the de facto moratorium on drilling would immediately increase supply and obviate the need to tap the SPR. A market-based energy policy that opens supply and prudently balances economics with environmental benefit would lower prices, create jobs, and reduce the need for foreign imports.

    The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was intended, first and foremost, to be a national security instrument in times of crisis. It is not a political tool to help hide bad energy policy.  Now is not the time to tap it. Now is the time for the Obama administration to allow the United States to reach its domestic energy supply while lowering prices, creating jobs and reducing the need for foreign imports.

    Quick Hits:

    • There’s more trouble at NPR. The former head of its fundraising arm was caught on video saying that Tea Party members are xenophobic and racist, and that NPR would prefer to do without government subsidies.
    • The federal government has granted yet another Obamacare waiver. This time, Maine received a three-year exemption from the requirement that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premiums on patient care.
    • Sen. Joe Machin (D-WV) said on Tuesday that President Obama has “failed to lead” on the spending and budget debate.
    • How would Americans balance their state budgets? In a new Gallup poll, 65% favor cutting state programs and 62% would reduce state workers. Only 30% would raise taxes.
    • How big is the Welfare State? Big. Government payouts including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance account for more than one-third of U.S. wages and salaries.
    Posted in Energy, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    73 Responses to Morning Bell: Don't Tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

    1. Deborah Texas says:

      The pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness includes being oil and gas independent from hostile vendors, by not supplying our own necessary oil and gas we are appearing to be subjugated to the Middle East, who in reality has gotten rich by the US providing the means to drill and sell oil.

    2. Curtis,Reno says:

      Tap the Bakken reserve and take the U.S. off foreing oil

    3. Fred De Sena Sparta, says:

      I believe that the President deserves the support of all Americans (whatever your party affiliation may be). Support our President. It is the most difficult job on earth.

      However, what appears to be common sense, makes sense. It was time long ago to end dependence on foreign energy, and the real beginning of this economic crisis was when oil left the $1/gallon price point. The bank fiasco seems to have overshadowed this.

      America runs on cheap energy. And it runs well. In fact heres a radical idea for you: Free or near free energy. Imagine the economy of this country if energy was abundant and affordable. It would be similar to having made the internet public.

      It is time to put all options on the table, establish a multiple source economic energy policy-including nuclear, end dependence on foreign nations, stop supporting corrupt and fascist regimes such as the one that have popular revolts now, and remove the source of their power: American dollars.

      If America wants to be in the right and respected around the globe, here is a clear path. Common sense.

      There, I've had my say!

      Fred De Sena

    4. John Augustin, Cinci says:

      I couldn't agree more with this article. I feel that just the announcement that several (6, 8, 10) drilling permits have been issued for the Gulf of Mexico would almost immediately lower the price of oil. Opening ANWR or shale areas in the West would do even more.

    5. Ann Whitwney Blossva says:

      I am fearfull for our Country & frustrated at our officials. We have some great potential leaders (freshmen). Why do the Republicans continue to go with the same "ole same, ole" people? Respectfully

    6. Eric, Coplay, PA says:

      Tapping the reserve is just another way to kick the can down the road. We need to become more energy independent in the lowest cost manner possible … fossil fuels.

    7. James F. Hayes, Cent says:

      Well stated. In addition to the article, the O'Bama administration longs for $8,00 gas like in Europe to force the American people on Electric cars. I am thinking about going into the wrecker business to pickup all the electric that will run out of juice on a critical freeway. JFH

    8. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      In listening to many on this yesterday, I heard that tapping the reserve would not lower the price but raise it. I for one say we should lift all the bans on drilling here in the USA. From all the sources I hear, we have plenty of resources both inland and off shore. I just read an account of WHY the administration does not want to drill is that they want to push their agenda on green drilling ahead. I've read in many places about the amount of oil we have, it is more than all the oil in the rest of the world, also these same sources think Saudi ARabia has bluffed the amount they have a are trying to cover this up by not upping their production at this time. It's time we broke from OPEC, drilled at home and let the Saudi's, Libian etc. fend for them selves.

    9. David Bowdre Califor says:

      We have listened to the biofuel promis for more then 30 years and we are still waiting for this wonder fuel. The same is true of electric cars, wind generation, and solar. None of the ecofriendly tech. has proven to be a viable option to fosil fuels. Perhaps someday a break througe will happen to relieve us of the need for fosil fuels. Until then we are stuck with the reality of relying on fosil for most of our energy needs. After over 30 years of biofuel failure it's about time Obama and the rest in Washington to wake up to the need for the U S to developer all of it's domestic sources. The day we anounce we are going to drill in Alaska, Dakota, off shore and anyplace else we have reserves the price of oil will drop. As we bring our own domestic oil to the market OPEC will unravel. It's time to DRILL BABY DRILL! Don't stop until we no longer inport one drop of oil.

    10. Tyler, MN says:

      Hats off to Heritage for always coming through with great articles. NOW, let's do something about this!

    11. Norm CT says:

      Great idea!! Use up the SPR, give Obama and Co more money to squander on electric cars which we won't be able to charge up with no coal or oil to run the power plants. Oh, I for got we'll wait for a breeze to energize the wind mills that liberals like the Kennedys stopped in Mass cause it ruined their view.

      Hello $7.00 a gallon gas. Haven't the autoworkers figured out if energy is too expensive car sales will plummet. People won't need a car because there won't be jobs to go to. Besides it won't make sense to work cause the government will have to take most of the money to pay interest to China.

    12. danny, kentucky says:

      "Now is the time for the Obama administration to allow the United States to reach its domestic energy supply while lowering prices, creating jobs and reducing the need for foreign imports."

      lol……don't hold your breath.

    13. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      The energy policy in this country is absurd. All current and past politicians are to blame. If we would have begun a real energy independant policy 10 years ago under the Bush administration we would be totally energy independant by now. But the pols succumb to all the enviromental cases and do nothing. We should drill for our own oil, use nuclear, coal, solar, wind, anything and everything. And we should start NOW. The longer we delay the longer it will take to get out from depending upon countries that hate us. Does this make any sense at all or am I mssing something? I don't think so.

    14. Bill Gatchell, Maine says:

      This is a good piece. It might also include discussion of Mr. Obama's promise to revamp commodity trading which drives up the price in the market place with no valued effect other than to fleece/gouge the US and World economy. The supply remains available as your article points out but does not address those taking a profit on speculation.

      Mr. Obama's stifle of domestic exploration is as you pointed out in direct opposition to a solution to the supply problems of the present and future.


      Hope this helps develop the discussion.

    15. Ed Gargasz, Ohio says:

      Short sighted? What did you expect from this administration! Drill here and drill now. Build nuclear power plants. Develop a real energy policy that utilizes known technology while perfecting alternate energy sources. We will always need oil.

    16. migaluchi, IL says:

      does anyone in our beloved administration have a clue? im sure the former beloved administration didnt, and thus, didnt fill up strategic reserves to overflowing…

      and, pray tell, why arent we importing most if not all of our sr, and for that matter, our entire oil needs, from canada, both friendly and on the same continent?

      and why hybrids using ethanol, r.t. natural gas, as the usa has 600 yrs and canada has 2000 yrs…and natural gas vehicles have been around for…how long?

    17. Skip ONeill says:

      Our strategic oil reserves are in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. We should tap these oil reserves sooner rather than later. What is the president thinking, shouldn't we be drilling for our own oil rather than be at the mercy of the Arab nations.

    18. David Stone, Highlan says:

      Yes, let's tap "the other Strategic Petroleum Reserve," namely, Anwar.

    19. Martin Jones says:

      Having been in the Navy for a number of years, one of my jobs was to plot the territorial waters of various coastal countries including the US. As I recall the US claims only 3 miles. It may have changed. If not, the drilling companies should tell the Administration to stick it and drill anyway.

    20. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      In terms of rank stupidity it can't get any worse than tapping the Strategic Oil Reserves for the sole purpose of "capping" current at-the-pump prices. I am one hundred percent in sync with Heritage here.

      We The People need to be counted on this issue of who has ultimate control of our natural resources. The idea that we are dependent on other countries, for not only our Crude Oil, but for the finished product, gasoline as well, is out and out insanity. It is at least a form of economic suicide.

      The thing I see as a very viable short term move is to once again move fleet vehicles and transport of goods into Liquefied Natural Gas. We have in excess of one hundred years (trillions of cubic feet) available from existing fields and others that are relatively easy to develop. This technology is already here.

      This administration can be forced. Just ask the Tea Party people to bring this problem to their attention in a way they (the whole Democrat Party) can understand.


    21. Roger TN says:

      Good thinking Democrats. We first stop all exploration and drilling, despite a Federal Judge saying the cessation is illegal, then we want to use the approximately 70 day supply of the SPR to alleviate the price of crude. The refilling of the SPR would cost far more and we would have to again borrow from the Chinese to pay for it. Wonder what would happen if the SPR were emptied and the Middle East firestorm continues to a point where the supply either stops or is seriously diminished? Just the speculation of troubles has created a huge increase in price of crude, even though there is adqauate supplies. How do we power our military machines of war? What about the food prices, gasoline, and other products needing the petroleum as a base. Welcome to the world of incompetents. Looks like Hillary was right: "Who do you want answering the phone in a crisis at 4:00 AM?" Its apparent to me that we do not need someone dreaming about the next white house party when the call comes in.

    22. Marina Kesling, Cala says:

      I guess it would be out of the question (or politically incorrect) to (a) tap the reserves so the price of gasoline becomes more affordable and (b) replenish the reserves by drilling for our own oil and putting it back in the 'bank'?

    23. Charlie, Louisiana says:

      On the contrary,,,Tapping the Reserve is exactly the right thing to do.

      Here my take on Robert Reich's (Economist and former U.S. Labor Secretary) view on the present Gasoline mess as of last Monday morning on CBS…

      (I don't buy his "supply and demand" BS though.) It's a fact that the "shortage" is 90% perception and 10% real… It's the speculators that have run the

      price up so outrageously. Now, the interesting thing is, nobody wants to be caught short on their futures. So, just the threat of US oil reserves being let loose could be enough to break this feeding frenzy.

      "Robert Reich (who is author of "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future"), said this morning on CBS' "The Early Show" that it might make sense to at least suggest tapping into the United States Government's Strategic Petroleum Reserve because of the rise in oil futures."

      "Americans are still trying to get out of the gravitational pull of the great recession," Reich said, "and so, the higher gas prices at the pump are undoubtedly going to be a blow. It's not going to dramatically slow down the recovery. But it could definitely slow it down."

      "Libya is the 18th largest oil producer, but its output has fallen by at least 1 million barrels per day (from 1.6 million) since the uprising began last month. And while it supplies approximately 2 percent of the world's oil, the U.S. imports very little – Libya accounts for less than 1 percent of American imports, according to the Department of Energy."

      Reich was asked if the American public is right to feel scammed by the current spike in pump prices, given that Libya is not a major source of U.S. oil.

      "A lot of this is supply and demand," Reich told anchor Erica Hill. "The country can feel a certain sense of [being] taken advantage of. But some of this is the demand that's coming from China.

      "You have developing nations all over the world who are coming out of the recession much faster than the United States and Europe, and their oil needs are very high. And so they are also putting pressure on oil prices – it's not just the Middle East."

      "The issue of the reserves is one we're considering," White House Chief of Staff William Daley said Sunday on "Meet the Press." "I think there is no one who doubts that the uncertainty in the Middle East right now has caused this tremendous increase in the last number of weeks."

      The U.S. held emergency oil supply – called the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – contains 727,000,000 barrels of oil … enough to supply the nation for several months with no middle-east imports at all.

      After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and oil prices rose, 20.8 million barrels were released from the reserve, and the price of oil per barrel dropped 3 percent in one day. Much less oil was drawn down in 2008 in the wake of Hurricane Ike – 5.4 million barrels. (End of the Reich article, what follows is my observation…)

      What Reich neglected to say is that US domestic production is down 7%, primarily due to no new wells in the gulf coming on line now for months. There are many reasons our own drilling is down too, most of them due to the current administration. (Big EPA investigation into fracking has cooled drilling off, more complicated onshore permitting procedures, the threat of stopping all gov't subsidies for oil speculation, which in reality were not ever Moneys handed over,,,, but taxes forgone.)

      Current US oil consumption is 21 million bbl per day… So – we let out 1 day's use from the Reserve in 2005…

      But, since perception is the rule, can you imagine the chaos if we carried through on tapping the reserves?

      If we did it for a week,,, so many suppliers would have to have ships docked, pipelines and tanks would fill up and the oil train would essentially derail, but not without taking down many of the parasites that live off of it….

      But,,, don't expect Obama to follow through or if he does, authorize a meaningful withdrawal. THE only reason he would do it is so he could say, "I tried", when people go to remembering next year at election time…

      There are people on his staff that have been quoted as "wanting" to see $5 a gallon gas to discourage Americans from driving and to encourage "green" energy alternatives,,, electric cars, etc., to "SAVE THE PLANET, from Global

      Warming… This is Obama's agenda – this is what the President wants.

      OTOH, tapping the Reserve would short circuit this frenzied runup of speculators. If you examine Jan 2008- Jan 2009 Crude prices, with the all time record high of $147.50 on July 11 2008 and an almost record low of $38 by December 12th of 2008, you'll see what I mean.

    24. toledofan says:

      It's obvious that drilling would be our best alternative, always has been, but, with Obama and his Administration in place, they will drag their heels, and probably wouldn't release any permits until election time and it's likely they won't do anything else either. Maybe the best short term fix would be to eliminate the gas taxes, basicaly suspend them until the market stabilizes and the price goes back down to $70-80 per barrel range. Tapping the reserve won't do alot, we really don't have a shortage and the current prices are based on the speculation that there could be. What is ironic in all of this, is that we, still, don't have a comprehensive energy policy other that you can't drill and you should buy an electric car, whoppie. Heck at least Jimmy Carter let us turn right on red, this Administration probably will just say, see, this is why we need a high speed train, whoppie, again.

    25. Seth, Connecticut says:

      It seems to me that without question Obama's energy agenda requires higher oil prices….and they are not against the Fed's or Treasury's desires either.

      Obama knows that the more oil costs the more sensible and easier it will be to fund the now relatively much more expensive alternative energy sources to produce his and all the Green voters' solar and wind power. I suspect he thinks it will help buy him votes.

      And for months now Bernanke has off and on made comments about how a little inflation would stir buying and therefor the economy (and he is probably right about this and the positive effect this would have for awhile on employment).

      Treas. Secy. Geithner also wants some inflation because he knows that it is easier to pay down debt with cheaper dollars (inflation is good for borrowers but bad for lenders).

      The big problems I have with this policy are:

      1) Some of us do not believe that mankind is causing global warming and that doing all this green stuff to supposedly stop it is a waste of energy, time and money based on a fraudulent concept…..and it will take a very long time to get enough of the alternative sources on line to make much of a difference.

      2) Once price inflation (apart from that which is already visible in commodities such as grains, food, oil and precious metals) starts and the velocity of money picks up, what is the Fed going to do about the acceleration in price inflation that will take place? Last time under Reagan and Volker to stop 12% inflation, short-term interest rates had to go to over 15%. Without much deeper expense cuts than anyone is now thinking about in a very short time the cost of servicing our national debt would soar, and that would absolutely cripple our federal budget.

      3) Too many more to articulate here.

    26. Les Luehring, rio ra says:

      Good call. I made the same argument to Senator Bingaman this week. Tapping into sthe SPR is a threat to our national security. We need to open up our own petroleum reserves.

    27. Frank, Florida says:

      The fallacy the Democrats use to try & explain away why allowing more oil drilling now won't help the cost of gasoline is, they say, because it takes years for new oil to "come on line". True, drilling for oil now won't yield more oil & gasoline for years to come, but that is not the point. The point is, if permits are issued NOW for more drilling, the "futures market" for oil will start to decline tomorrow & therefore the price of oil & gas tomorrow will also start to decline. The effect of the price of gasoline at pumps in the USA will also come down almost immediately. But the Obama administration DOES'T WANT THE PRICE OF OIL TO COME DOWN, so as to FORCE Americans to use less oil, even at the price of another recession & further erosion of US business worldwide competitiveness. They have openly admitted they want the price of gas to go up to what the Europeans pay for it: namely about $8.00/gallon!! They are elitists that want to ram down our throat high oil prices, just like they rammed down against our will ObamaCare. Sadly, many Americans are duped by the Democratic non-drilling claims of no immediate effect on the price of oil & gasoline. They then blindly re-elect them back to office and the non-drilling, status quo nonsense continues and they wonder why the economy doesn't get better faster & why it's hard to get a job. Complicit in this nonsense, I'm sure, are also some "save the whales" & "tree hugger" & "global warming" RINOs. I'm all for making a decent effort to not pollute & to be good "stewards of the Earth", but we also need some common sense. Let's invest in "green energy" research (to see which one might be economically competitive in the future) while also drilling for oil, natural gas & building more nuclear power plants. The price of oil would soon fall, our economy & national security would dramatically improve with less dependence on foreign oil, we would have more jobs at home (due to both more energy jobs & other jobs in general) & more money staying in the USA to help maintain our standard of living, which is now eroding.

    28. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      If one don't realize that we have a Party of distruction at work in the land one will live in confusion. These folks will do nothing to stop the destruction of America. Although they go by different handles they all have one thing in common, bleed us to death by a thousand cuts, money for all manor of scheams under the guise of compassion. Laws and controls that stiffel restoration, Its not that they all want to destroy America, God has given them up to degrading passions. And I'm afreaid its too late, God seems to have giving this Nation over to worthless ways of thinking as in Romans 1:28

    29. George Fuller, Saras says:

      The strategic oil reserve has been tapped 17 times……it drives down the price of speculator oil..then you buy the oil at a cheaper price…….duh…

      It is criminal not to be developing onshore and offshore……..ANWR is only 70 miles from an existing pipeline……

      The reason we aren't frilling is because Obama and his left wingers want price to rise high enough to make alternative fuels competitive…….that is just the kind of thinking we would expect out of the ghettos of the south side of Chicago……

      Don't drive prices down….no…..push them up…….duh..

    30. Steve, Oregon says:

      Not only would allowing development of domestic energy sources create jobs, lower energy prices, and reduce the need for foreign oil, it would free up dollars now being sent out of the country to be spent here in the USA.

      Freeing up domestic energy is clearly a move which would help our economy and national security.

    31. Robert, Iowa says:

      I agree with this artical in whole. I only advise one clarification to part of it that struck me a little off. The comment on the bio fuels and electric cars. I agree the "policy" as written and subsidized with tax money is ba.However, I do believe there is hope in some of those technologies. But if they are to ever advance to a point of being self sustainable and viable parts of our economy that contribute to it, instead of taken from it, they must do so on their own merit. The funding should be by those who believe in it and are willing to take the risk. Not the American tax payers dollars.

      I know there is merit because I live in an area that has an advanced Algae processing plant, and this merit is reinforced by the fact that companies like Exxon and other big oil companies are now investing into this technology already. Great things can happen when we get the government out of the way.

    32. NJONY says:

      It seems every decision President Obama makes is incorrect. Beginning with the stimulus to Libyia. I'm so discusted with this president.

    33. Patricia says:

      I wonder if this is just another ploy ( in a long line of many) in 'Obama & friends' plans to make our country fall deeper into a pit that needs the infamous Socialist Party to pull us out of our dilema?????? AND take TOTAL CONTROL.




    34. Mary............WI says:

      BO won't lift the ban on drilling for domestic oil because he's too beholding to the environmentalists. He's a very foolish man.

    35. David Watson Yale Mi says:

      Not doing something to fuel prices at the pump is going cause problems for people working at min.wage,they will be working just to put fuel in there tanks,causing them to make hard decission for there families. People in low income aren't going to be ale to afford the high cost of electric cars. So how can not tappping into reserves be a tempory fix to the problem until we start getting more oil from domestic energy supplies.

    36. Glynnda White, Orlan says:

      Tapping into this reserve is not a mistake to this administration. I am convinced that the objective of this administration is to destroy as much of our infrastructure as they can before they get the boot in 2012. Tapping into these reserves would fit nicely into that strategy while leaving thousands out of work and becoming more dependent on government due to shutting down oil production in the Gulf. In my opinion they are following a calculated plan by taking these actions. Let's fact facts, Obama's grand show of weakness has led to quite a lot of unrest throughout the Middle East and we see what happens when our citizens are murdered on the ocean or gang raped in the streets of Cairo,,,,,,nothing, this is sparking further what's going on around the world. The administrations fiscal policies have brought total chaos around the world, I believe this is purely intentional.

    37. Glynnda White, Orlan says:

      REgarding the bigotry in the NPR Ranks, I'm SHOCKED…..simply SHOCKED……I can't even believe this is news, it is no secret that NPR is filled with political and cultural bigots, Congress should shut down and outlaw any kind of funding to any news and/or speech organizations…..right NOW. It's enough now…..Congress should also defund any efforts by FCC to control the output of local media…….this is a major lawsuit waiting to happen obviously, however how many locally owned stations will simply go out of business during the litigation period, which of course will be strewn indefinitely or until a new President and Congress with a backbone steps in to right this situation.

    38. Patricia says:

      I wonder if this is just another ploy in the plans of the president and friends to cause our country to fall into despair, making us more dependent on foreign oil.

      Otherwise, why not use our own oil resources that are available to us. Why use our 'emergency reserves'? Why not drill on our own land.

      It is hard to respect a leadership that can hear, but not listen to the wishes of the people.

      I was taught that our great country is to be "a government of the people, by the people and for the people". Not a people of the government, by the government and for the government.

    39. Inverbrass, Kansas says:

      Obama, Mackey, etc are fools if they think using the SPR will address the problem of higher oil and fuel prices in the short term let alone in the long run. Historically the 3 or 4 times the SPR has been tapped, fuel prices have increased. If our leaders, and I use that term loosely, want to impact oil prices and thus lower fuel costs, then open up drilling for oil in the United States. With our known reserves and the oil sands and oil shale available, we can become self sufficient. It will take time. It is time for our "leaders" to pull their collective heads out of the sand.

    40. Patriot77 says:

      Is it not apparent that the man in the white house is trying to destroy our republic?

      He knows exactly what he is doing. If you look at every policy this imbecile has shoved down the throats of the American people, you will see a pattern of destruction. He is destroying the economy, the moral values and the trustworthiness of our nation as a whole. The man is evil and needs to be impeached–and should be tried for treason as well!

    41. Judith in Michigan says:

      The Heritage Foundation always proposes sound and effective measures to any issue. But the problem seems to be that the current administration deliberatly choses to do the exact opposite.

      So, of course, the explanation is obvious. These destructive policies are being done on purpose. Now, we need to find out who is behind the scenes directing and to what ends.

      Shut down America's energy sources. Deplete our emergency oil supplies. Bring all commerce and our economy to a grinding halt. Bring America to her knees.

      Quite a simple plan, really.

    42. randydutton says:

      ANWR – the 'other' Strategic Oil Reserve. THAT I can endorse tapping!

      By the way, the massive Santa Barbara oil field that caused the 1960s spill can be tapped and producing within 4 months if given the go ahead. Think about it.

    43. Robert, North Richla says:

      Gasoline may be approaching $4 per gallon, but our gasoline inventories are at record highs and refinery capacity is below 80%. The same problem we have now is what exposed the economy in 2008: illegal (prior to 1998) speculation in our U.S. energy markets by foreign entities and pigs like George Soros, T. Boone Pickens, Ted Turner, Marc Nathanson and other hedge-fund scum. They hide behind a loophole that our beloved Phil Gramm inserted to benefit Enron and his close friend Ted Turner. That loophole should be closed immediately. Of course, opening up ANWR; building the Keystone pipeline and reopening deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would expose these scum – and would cost their hedge-funds billions of dollars in losses. And our new republican Congress is nowhere to be seen, except sipping their wine with their new friends.

    44. Frank Seymour, Marre says:

      Our current government is suppressing the using of our OWN resources! There is more oil in the Montanna area, than what all of the OPEC nations have! We should be allowed to use our own oil, vice sending our oil to other countries. Plus by using our own oil, it would create thousands of jobs, plus refining our ownoil would create even more jobs! This is a win, win situation for AMERICA! Plus it would definitely relieve our dependency on foreign oil.

    45. Robert says:

      Bad planning has been the hallmark of the current administration and most of their predecessors. Northern New Mexico went for a week (30,000 customers) without gas to heat homes when the system was slightly taxed by more cold weather than expected. It was a shortage of electricity to pump the gas from the supplier; no one planned for more than normal quantities of that. The future will be much worse.

      We have an entire generation that cannot plan ahead and tapping the national reserve will leave this nation near to defenseless if our military is suddenly need on a large scale.

    46. Frank, Louisiana says:

      We have oil in the Montanna area. There is a report verifying there is more oil in the Montanna area than what OPEC has combined. We should be drilling our own oil, quit exporting our oil. This would create jobs and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.

    47. J K says:

      Bakken/Wiliston formations are available as well!

    48. ed leckey, nevada says:

      drill in the USA now ! and send all illegals back to where they came from and close our borders

      and get rid of all the czars

    49. Susan, Michigan says:

      Great article! So true. This president is in way over his head. Why is it that WE all know the answers but HE doesn't? We need to start drilling NOW. Other countries drill in the Gulf every day. What about Alaska? Electric cars are fine if you want them. They don't run very well in Michigan as proven with the Volt which gets 24 MPG here in Winter. My Jeep gets better than that! Wake up people. 2012 is just a heartbeat away.

    50. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Most of the comments on this subject are spot on. Obama is delibertly driving this country into economcial collapse while he waits in the wings with his plan of a totally controlled socialist government.

      Within this nation's boundries, enough deposits exist to make us oil independent for the next 200 years, yet Obama will not allow us to drill. The reasons are obvious. Obama is appeasing his radical leftist, environmentalist supporters and he intends to force American into his fossil free energy ideology. The six senators that want the sale of SPR to "go towards advancing electric cars" should make us all understand that Obama, and his Dem lackeys, are determined to shove their agenda down our throats.

    51. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      This is one of those cases where the bloggers have outshined the writers, and that is hard to do at Heritage Foundation! We have the best writers.

      Charlie, Louisiana wrote a pro piece, good quality. The Progressives do a good rope a dope in their bureaucracies, "Do nothing! But be very loud!" I was impressed with Seth, Connecticut for his cogent analysis, and I thought Frank, Florida just nailed it! Obama doesn't want low fuel prices! Put it all together, how can we not believe Obama is serving the Foreign Interest?

      I am starving for a discussion of the Progressive exploitation of Junk Science. I have pointed out it is Junk Science that petrolium is a fossil fuel. Global Warming is Junk Science. We have Junk Political Science and Junk Educational Science and Junk Economics 'Science.' You cannot imagine what the Society Of Bums are doing with all this Junk! Where were we? Oh! We were talking about Oil, how we should NOT tap the Reserve! That would be like draining the Unemployment Insurance Pool, stripping away America's Safety Nets before the next Man Made Disaster hits!

    52. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      Observing an organizer's attempt to lead is like watching a turnip attempt to bleed. Observing Washington D.C. try to lead is like watching an entire patch of turnips trying to bleed. Watch as long as you like because absolutely nothing rational or honest can possibly happen.

      It's truly an honor to be allowed continued voting privileges for the mindless Council on Foreign Relation's tripe regularly spawned for pseudo-partisan, parrotship in our run down, bankrupt Capital City. Our national bird should be the parrot; not the bald eagle; no insult to parrots intended.

      When will America come to grips with the obvious fact that Obama and his Administration does "get it"? They're not missing anything. They are doing exactly what they want to do and said they would do – that is – destroy the American Middle Class and replace it with feudal serfdom at the feet of George Soros and friends. Is this really so hard to grasp? How deep does denial run?

      "Share" the wealth is a pseudonym for "control" the wealth.

    53. Nelson Whipple, Char says:

      Energy prices (oil & coal) are rising but energy prices are falling (natural gas) because gas supplies are increasing, drilling is taking place and new extraction methods lead to greater economic supplies.

      As to oil and gas, the absence of drilling and mining licenses constricts supply and the perception of future supply. Moreover, the lack of building new nuclear plants constrains energy supply.

      Issue licenses and build and drill and mine and we will see the crude price decline by $25 to $30 a barrel very quickly.

      This Administration is hell bent on the destruction of America and freedom.

    54. Gayle Kindall 94553 says:

      exactly. I have been suspecting this stubborn white house would suggest

      doing so and strongly oppose it. This is not a crisis at this time.

    55. Ron Hert, CA. says:

      America knows more than Obama and his staff. Check out Steve McCann's article at americanthinker.com. This article shows the absurdity of how much money and jobs that fossil fuel drilling, Coal Shale Extraction, and Nuclear energy can immediately give to take the US off the dependence of foreign oil. Mr. McCann shows the enormus amount of money to be gained-$389 Trillion Dollars-more than enough to pay off the debt, create long lasting-good paying jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans. In less than two years America can be debt free and with less than 3% unemployment; with the Green ticket we're looking at-is 10 years at the least. This is no longer a matter of just economics, but of National Security, and Obama's threating the security of the United States by his arrogance, and Islamic agenda of attempting to destroy the US economy and Capitalism world wide. Congress should be called upon to make this a National Security issue that requires immediate resolve to solve America's energy problem due to the recent events that have happened in the world, and the potential castrophy for the USA. Depleting our energy reserves without an immediate action to begin the process of replentishment is very irresponsible in the service of America by the usual Democrats.

    56. Bernard P. Giroux, S says:

      As usual, the government by Obama, for Obama and with Obama, fails to understand the absolute requirement in this country not only to engineer an automobile engine that produces superior mileage [notice I said "engine" not car], but they insist on an economic climate where high oil/fuel prices will croak the general public and force them into a European style vehicle. That will not work in this country; its distances are too vast and the stuff we haul is very un-European in character and quantity. This country needs, rather, demands a drilling of onshore and offshore sources as yet un-found or proven in order to compete globally, lower the commodity price and retain its position in world affairs. Otherwise, we will all end up washing each others toilets, eating at McDonald's and shopping at WalMart, because that is all we will be able to afford.

    57. Joan Fuller Goffstow says:

      we do not have to even consider tapping into the spr….

      we,as a nation, have mega areas available for drilling for oil.

      we could become extremely independent in that regard !!!

    58. Don Broome, Cumming, says:

      This situation we find ourselves in previously, and presently,is the reason I have never bought into the "green" philosophy. Barack Obama is part and parcel of that branch of socialism. Has anyone heard the sales figures for the GM made Chevy "Volt"; It is less than 300 – for the entire nation. It is a joke. And does he care that most Americans want the Government to open more drilling areas? Watch what he does, not what he says.

    59. Dwana Townsend, Harv says:

      Tapping into our reserves is the worst decision ever. It will deplete our emergency energy sources, and to replace them would put us at the mercy of foreign nations and their leaders, and if we depend on domestic sources to refill the coffers it will take some time to do so due to the moritorium on drilling. This bright idea would so put our whole monitary system in jeopardy like we have never seen before. Prices on goods will sky rocket as it will cost more to import or produce. Mostly food prices. Does anyone know how much it cost to turn grain into bread? Just wait until bread is $10 a loaf, cereal is $10 a box. You think our poor are poor now just wait, next the middle class will be in the low to moderate income bracets due to out of control inflation. Then god forbid that the dollar no longer holds any value to the rest of the world!! What then? I don't think many readers understand that the price of oil is based on the acceptance of the US dollar being the world currency. Each day our dollar is being devalued. Wait for it. Foreign countries will stop accepting dollars in the oil trading arena, and when we have lost that leverage the Dollar will be worthless, even in America. How will you buy anything when that happens? People wake up, this could very well happen over night. We have seen this happen in other countries before. It happened with the Pound Sterling around WWII. In Russia, and various other countries around the world ( I am in the financial industry and I have seen this happen to several countries in my lifetime, where we no longer traded that currency because the country itself went bankrupt and issued new currency to take it's place). Ask anyone from those countries who woke up one morning and their currency (all of their savings) was worthless. Poverty like you have never seen before.

      It is time that the American public take over our country from these traitors we have in Washington. They are selling our country out!!. Ask yourself these questions: If our monetary system collapses where will we get food (we are no longer the major producer of grain, produce, petroleum), how will we travel, how will we make it to work if we have jobs, what will happen to our banking system? We used to feed the world. We are no longer a major producer of anything really, so how are we going to pay for anything if our dollars are worthless!!! Will you be able to go to your local grocery and pay for a loaf of bread in US currency? NO!!!! It is already happening. Some tourists have reported to me that they had a hard time exchanging US Dollars for that countries currency.

      As a nation we must do several things to insure we continue to be a World leader and not become a 3rd world country!!! We must get tough of all Foreign Policy. I don't care if we offend anyone, we need to show strength. We should stop all foreign aid to buy friends who are really our enemies. We should stop all subsidies to manufacturers of failed products, as well as subsidies to our farmers to stop them from producing or growing our own food supply or that keeps us from manufacturing our own goods and services. Let us become self sufficient once again!!! This nation was once rich when government was limited, however they have been overreaching for many years. We should have stopped them long ago.

      I say Drill Baby Drill NOW!!! And that is just a baby step on the road to recovery. How about we sell all of the private jets used by our government officials that we the taxpayers foot the bill for, maybe they could ride a bicycle or drive an electric car to work or home. Grab your pitch forks and farm your land!! Buy a few cows and produce your own milk. Stop selling corn products to ethenol producers!!

    60. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Obama will use the reserve because he wants the downfall of the U.S. and this makes us more vulnerable. Republicans and Democrats will approve it because it is a political move…not a strategic move and they want to get re-elected.

    61. Jeanne, Phoenix, AZ says:

      There is something very evil going on. As 'charming' as President Obama seems, he has an agenda that most Americans would find unbelieveable. For his agenda to move forward the USA must first become a needy (dependent upon govt) nation. Let's look at what's happening: a moratorium on oil drilling (tens of thousands out of work) needy; Obamacare where we will eventually be forced to purchase govt ins (needy); forced to obtain a national ID card (where the govt will know within 3 feet where you are at all times); expansion of unemployment benefits (needy); college level student loans(?) (now taken over by govt) needy. We could go on. Obama has little regard for the rule of law e.g. the Defense of Marriage Act – the executive branch refuses to enforce the law (Obama and Holder) which they swore to uphold. Obama went over the head of the judge that ruled the "moratorium" was unconstitutional. Obama has no respect for the laws of our country. What's next? Freedom of Speech? Wait until he finds a way to shut down the radio, TV and internet channels! Behold, the Dictator!

    62. Harry Edmunds Colora says:

      It has become obviously clear that Obama's goal is to destroy America's economy. He wants very high gas prices. This will help him to steer the country in the direction of Socialism. He must me stopped! What is the matter with Congress? Don't they see what's happening? Or don't they care? It's time to impeach the worthless, Socialist piece of crap!

    63. David Bess, Carson C says:

      This article hits the nail on the head. America has proven oil reserves and the tecnology to extract the oil. The obama administration is playing into the hands of the middle east countries (wonder why?)

      Cheap energy leads to a robust economy and a multitude of new jobs. Without it we are going to become another third world country controlled by the oil producing nations. What this administration is doing is the biggest threat to our nations security and welfare. Both of these are supposed to be the job of our president. It's hard to beleive that they can be that stupid or ill-informed. Could there be another agenda that we are not privledged to. It is scary to think so,but all indications point in that direction.

      Green energy has been and is the biggest and most costly failure ever. We need oil, coal and nuclear energy produced within the U.S. borders and shorelines. It is time to face reality and get busy saving America.

      Great article, thankyou

    64. Dwana Townsend, Harv says:

      Maybe the agenda is the total collapse of our monetary system??? The dollar has been the World Currency for a long time now, but many countries are starting to question our stability. What is going to happen when foreign countries no longer accept the US Dollar to purchase oil? Think about it. The answers are unthinkable. Poverty like you have never seen before, jobless rates over 20%, inflation. Imagine how much energy it takes to make a loaf of bread, which starts out with the production of grain. How expensive will it be to produce grain, sugar, and other ingredients just for one loaf of bread? What about produce? We import lots of it. How much will it cost for those imports? If we grow our own, will our farmers continue to farm. How much energy does a farm consume? What about delivery of the final product to grocery stores? Then what about the grocery store themselves? Higher energy costs for those fancy refrigerators and freezers and other various equipment.

      The President of the United States is just a mere puppet for the worlds elite. It's a very exclusive club and if you don't go along with their world agenda you won't survive very long. I don't believe the unrest in the mid east is by coincedence, someone planted a seed who knew it would go viral in this age of social networking and the timing was just perfect!!

    65. Hermes C LIBERTY New says:

      The eying on SPR is no surprise and obey one single need and obession everybody might have already seen and over and over : overspending in order to overdestroy even tough the passive executives {Obama and his Administration+ some democratic elects} do not know really where these ideas come from. It's time to seriously realize that only a second r-Evolution can save the USA.

    66. Al Smith says:

      We own a farm in ND, There is not enogh Oil Rigs that can drill in ND, How ever our oil wells were drilled and now recieveing checks. The problem is that the Gov. will not let them drill on gov land, as you know The Gov. owns 27% of all land in the US. When we get rid of this" Liar " we will produce these oil wells which will take us thru 2075. By then we should have new tech. in place. Just have to get rid of the Liar, Nancy and Harry and the rest of the Socialist,Commies etc…The Baaken Oil field is prorucing 225,000 barrels a day. Most of the crude is moved by Rail to Okla. where we are running out of space for storage need more refineries.Have a good one and I think I will take a rest in Ari get out of the cold. Remember the other Liars Global warming…….

    67. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The SPR, (Strategic Petroleum Reserve), is like a state's rainy day fund. It can only

      be tapped as a last resort. Well, the storm clouds are gathering, the thunder's rumbling, and the lightning's flashing.

    68. Shawn Shumway Sea Gi says:

      Why do we need a strategic oil reserve when all the federal Gov has to do is tap a well here in America and cap it for emergency use? And maybe build a refinery or two and put some "Americans back to work"

    69. Danny Halter CLARKSB says:

      I believe we should stand up as a people and demand the liberals in government open all the shut down oil wells; and as Sara Palin says,drill baby drill wherever we have access to oil.I also believe that Iraq and all the other countrys that we protect and our brave soldiers give their lives for should supply us with free oil or pay us enough to buy their oil and if they don't like that we should take it.I pray our goverment will see the light before it's too late.

    70. Maurice Kane, San Di says:

      Any sovereign political entity, with a constitutionally-defined demarcation between State and civil society and possessing a proper regard for free markets and private property, should incenivize domestic exploration and drilling and harness its own energy and mineral assets (off-shore drilling, ANWR, the Utica Shale and other options) for individuals, families, business, the military and all branches of government rather than rely–unnecessarily– on questionable Middle Eastern despotisms or on wastefully tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

    71. Linda, Louisiana says:

      Tapping into our Nation's Oil Reserves is definitely out of the question; there are other ways to boost our oil supplies. If President Obama could just one time make a right decision and allow the drilling to resume, we might have a little input into OPEC controls. Can't someone override the President's decisions? I wish someone would answer this question.

      If we do not get oil from Libya nor from Egypt, why has oil and gas prices skyrocketed. If and when things settle down in both Libya and Eqypt, will oil prices go down. Probably not. It might drop 2 or 3 cents a gallow just to appease the consumer, but not back to what it was before this crisis. Look at previous history of gas prices. Did they ever return to the level before a problem ensued? Not on your life.

    72. Larry Campbell, Mesq says:

      When we are dealing with an administration that, quite frankly, despises the oil companies, we are not going to see them make one attempt to improve the gas prices, much less all the other economic issues we have, which are bringing this country to its knees.

    73. Fern Horn, Illinois says:

      PLEASE ……won't somebody do something? This president has almost accomplished what he set out to do…………bankrupt America, in 2 years!!!!!!

      Tapping our oil reserves, how dumb can we be? what happens when we drain all of that in 30 days, We are going to end up so totally busted, which is where they want us, that we will have no where to turn to except………….guess who!!!!

      This is the master plan.

      The people get it, why doesn't somebody who has a little power up there get it?

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