Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Worried Dems pressing Obama on gas prices
The Hill ^ | 2/28/12 | Alexander Bolton

Posted on 02/28/2012 10:01:17 PM PST by Libloather

Worried Dems pressing Obama on gas prices
By Alexander Bolton - 02/28/12 09:45 PM ET

Congressional Democrats are ramping up pressure on President Obama to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to prevent rising gas prices from threatening the economy and their election-year prospects.

They are growing anxious that the price of fuel could reverse their political fortunes, which had been improving due to signs of growth in the economy.

Republicans have hammered Democrats on the price spike, repeatedly noting that gas prices — now at $3.72 per gallon for regular — have doubled since Obama won the White House.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday blamed Obama and “radical environmental groups” for fuel prices and said it was “about damn time” the nation developed a comprehensive energy policy.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said the price increase “isn’t simply the result of forces we can’t control. It is to a large extent the result of a vision that this president laid out even before he was elected to office.”

Democrats argue the price surge reflects the gathering strength of the economy, which has boosted demand for fuel. Still, they worry the issue could become a liability in the fall.

Senior Democratic lawmakers and vulnerable incumbents want Obama to consider releasing tens of millions of barrels of oil stored in the SPR’s special salt caverns along the Gulf Coast.

“We may need it because this is a central issue to economic recovery. I don’t rule that out if there isn’t a move in the right direction,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the second-ranking Democratic leader in the upper chamber.

“If it’s going to jeopardize economic recovery, the president should seriously consider it,” Durbin added.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who is facing a tough reelection race, said Obama should consider tapping the reserve along with other strategies to boost domestic oil supplies, such as approving construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Montana to Texas.

Another vulnerable incumbent, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), said, “I’m OK with that” when asked about the president tapping the emergency stockpile.

Last year, Obama released 30 million barrels of oil from the reserve as part of an international agreement to compensate for the disruption of oil production in Libya.

Democrats say the president should act again because uncertainty over Iran’s supply threatens to create another price spike.

“I think they should consider that as they did under Libya where there was an international effort with our allies. That has to be an option on the table,” said Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who added that uncertainty about a possible Israeli strike against Iran has increased “geopolitical risk.”

Republican leaders pushed back, arguing it would be irresponsible to use oil that is set aside for national emergencies.

“The [SPR] is there for an emergency situation. You have to ask the question: If there were release from the [SPR], would it have the desired effect, and how long would it have the desired effect?” McConnell said.

Republicans say Obama should lift restrictions on domestic oil-and-gas drilling if he’s serious about lowering prices.

Obama tried to pre-empt the GOP attack last week as oil surged above $109 a barrel. Speaking at the University of Miami on Thursday, Obama dismissed the Republican claim that expanded drilling would lower prices at the pump.

“You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill, and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling,” Obama said.

“First of all, while there are no silver bullets short term when it comes to gas prices — and anybody who says otherwise isn’t telling the truth — I have directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make an impact and help consumers in the months ahead,” he added.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNBC on Friday that the administration could tap the reserve, and a White House spokesman said nothing is off the table when it comes to reducing high gas prices.

Some Democratic leaders, however, have declined to push the administration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hedged when asked about pulling from the reserve.

“We know that that’s to be used in case of an emergency,” Reid said. “As the president said in his remarks just the other day, there’s no easy fix. There’s no easy fix. We’re going to do anything that we can that’s reasonable to try to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”

In June, Reid applauded Obama’s decision to use emergency oil reserves to keep prices in check.

“This decision should calm the markets, lower prices and provide some relief for Americans whose wallets are already strained by record prices at the pump,” he said.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, last year pushed Obama to release oil from the reserve, but now has taken a different tack. He wants Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press Saudi Arabia to boost its production in case Iran cuts supply.

“The SPR is not as good a solution as the Saudi solution, and that’s for a couple of reasons. First, it’s limited,” he said on CNBC Tuesday. “The Saudis and the Gulf states could produce an additional 2.8 million barrels of oil way on into the future. The SPR is somewhat limited. And the SPR works better when there’s an immediate crisis.”

Schumer said he would support Obama tapping the reserve if the Saudis refuse to increase production.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dems; gas; oil; prices
Worried? About Hussein's plan?
1 posted on 02/28/2012 10:01:30 PM PST by Libloather
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Libloather

Barry and his Czar Chu are doing precisely as they both clearly promised: $9 a Fallon EuroSocialist price for gas.


2 posted on 02/28/2012 10:10:08 PM PST by FormerACLUmember
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
Worried?

Don't sound too worried to me!!! Democrats grow confident of House win
3 posted on 02/28/2012 10:19:48 PM PST by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
Photobucket
4 posted on 02/28/2012 10:23:38 PM PST by baddog 219
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

The Strategic Oil Reserves is for an national emergency only.There is enough oil their for 34 days(taking into account consumption levels)in an emergency


5 posted on 02/28/2012 10:25:46 PM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

Aw, Jeez (you know the rest).


6 posted on 02/28/2012 10:26:20 PM PST by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

This only is for a national emergency only.This equates to 34 days of oil at current daily US consumption levels of 21 million barrels per day (taking into account o6resent consumption levels). There was an “Arab Spring” last year of 30 million barrels non-emergency sale to offset disruptions caused by political upheaval in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East.


7 posted on 02/28/2012 10:28:09 PM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

Newt rocks the proverbial casbah!

Forcing Obama on the defensive regarding the price of gas is a check-mate issue.

Either Obama does nothing and proves Newt’s case about him wanting high priced gas, or he does SOMETHING and proves Newt’s case that it’s in his power to do so.


8 posted on 02/28/2012 10:30:18 PM PST by OHelix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

For all you trivia buffs, there is a The Food Security Wheat Reserve (FSWR) is a reserve of up to 4 million metric tons of wheat held by the United States.


9 posted on 02/28/2012 10:31:54 PM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: OHelix

Why, oh why, why, WHY is Newt not polling higher?


10 posted on 02/28/2012 11:43:30 PM PST by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: FormerACLUmember

They’ll wish they didn’t open the SPR if Israel... but that’s probably in their plan too.


11 posted on 02/29/2012 12:29:35 AM PST by enduserindy (Conservative Dead Head)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Explorer89

Honestly? Because he is Newt.

Great idea, wrong deliverer.


12 posted on 02/29/2012 12:31:59 AM PST by cableguymn (Good thing I am a conservative. Otherwise I would have to support Mittens like Republicans do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Explorer89
Why, oh why, why, WHY is Newt not polling higher?

Most people form their opinions from how candidates are characterized in the press than they do from actual familiarity with the candidates themselves.

Consequently, polls tend to have a much stronger correlation to media characterization than they do to reality when the two do not agree.

Why, oh why, why, WHY would you act like you didn't already knew that? ;o)

13 posted on 02/29/2012 12:58:50 AM PST by OHelix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

Need to keep playing this over and over everywhere...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqHL404zhcU


14 posted on 02/29/2012 2:56:53 AM PST by MagnoliaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OHelix

I am allowed to get exasperated by it......... :)


15 posted on 02/29/2012 3:07:20 AM PST by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

Tapping the strategic petroleum reserve is no answer, even in the short term, and denies us the reserve needed were there a cutoff (or reduction) in Middle East sources, a distinct possibility. But all the Obamanites want is the appearance that 0bummer is doing something about gas prices.


16 posted on 02/29/2012 3:13:58 AM PST by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

The SPR is still short, all the oil they used LAST TIME to try to bring down prices.

DRILL. HERE. NOW.

The SPR is not for political use.


17 posted on 02/29/2012 3:22:19 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
In June, Reid applauded Obama’s decision to use emergency oil reserves to keep prices in check.

“This decision should calm the markets, lower prices and provide some relief for Americans whose wallets are already strained by record prices at the pump,” he said.

Didn't work, did it, Reid?

18 posted on 02/29/2012 5:03:21 AM PST by hattend (Jesus wants me to make churches pay for abortions. - Barack Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: U-238
There is enough oil their for 34 days

That is not a real description of the quantity.

For starters, the total volume of 695.9 million barrels would last far longer. The maximum withdraw rate from the SPR is 4.4 million Barrels per Day (MMBPD). Taken as fast as possible, it would last over 158 days.

http://fossil.energy.gov/programs/reserves/spr/spr-facts.html

We currently use around 18.8 MMBPD of petroleum. But that number includes Natural Gas Liquids. Our total refined product has been ~16.7 MMBPD, but fallen off recently.

Total Petroleum Product Supplied:
http://205.254.135.7/dnav/pet/pet_cons_psup_dc_nus_mbblpd_m.htm

Weekly Gasoline Supplied:
http://205.254.135.7/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WGFUPUS2&f=W

We would never have to replace our total oil supply from the SPR. Even if Iran closes the Persian Gulf, that isn't going to effect the oil supply from Texas, North Dakota and many other places.

19 posted on 02/29/2012 5:15:48 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: U-238
current daily US consumption levels of 21 million barrels per day

It has been over 4 years since our consumption was that high.

20 posted on 02/29/2012 5:18:25 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

When do I start laughing? The stated goal of the Obama admin is to raise gas prices. We are now looking at the possibility of $5 pg gas across the country for the summer. Why are Dems shocked? A great many of them have been demanding higher gas prices to force the country into electic cars or bicycles. The Dem ignorati are bewildered as usual. When Bush was president, high gas prices were blamed on “Bush and his oil buddies.” Can we blame the current rise on Obama and oil buddies? (smirk)


21 posted on 02/29/2012 6:54:26 AM PST by driftless2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Explorer89

Give him time. His message resonates.

It’s obvious they (Rick and Mitt) know he has a winning platform because they are stealing from it.


22 posted on 02/29/2012 10:08:56 AM PST by OHelix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: OHelix

I’m giving him time, I gave him money :)


23 posted on 02/29/2012 10:44:42 AM PST by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: thackney
Not according the DOE Web Site

http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/reserves/spr/spr-facts.html
24 posted on 02/29/2012 5:46:34 PM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: thackney

Everything is correct. No dispute.


25 posted on 02/29/2012 6:04:21 PM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: U-238

No problem.

On the previous post of mine on this thread, those links are to a DOE web site as well.

Cheers


26 posted on 02/29/2012 6:12:40 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson