Skip to comments.A Gas Price Emergency -- for America, or for Obama (Opening the Petroleum Reserve)
Posted on 08/24/2012 3:23:30 PM PDT by lbryce
To combat rising gasoline prices, anonymous White House sources are reporting that President Obama will release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
When Obama was inaugurated, the average gasoline prices were $1.84 per gallon, and oil was at about $39 for a 42-gallon barrel. On Monday, refiners were paying about $96 for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate, and the average price of regular gasoline was $3.72, up from $3.45 a month earlier.
The 696-million barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve, stored in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana, exists to protect America against "severe energy supply disruptions," according to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.
Imports of oil and petroleum products are about 345 million barrels per month. That works out to two months of supply, in the unlikely event of a complete cutoff of foreign crude -- hardly an extravagant buffer.
Rather than release SPR oil, Obama could take other actions to enhance domestic supplies of crude oil and modify environmental regulations that push up gasoline prices.
EPA regulations require 18 different blends of gasoline in different states, depending on the season and on air quality. These "boutique fuel requirements" keep gasoline prices high because extra gasoline in one state cannot travel to another. A temporary waiver of these requirements would let the price of gasoline decline without significantly affecting air quality.
Another factor increasing gasoline prices is the requirement that ethanol, made from corn, be included in gasoline. It was enacted in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act with heavy lobbying by corn growers and environmentalists.
Now, ethanol prices are high because there's a drought, corn yields are down and corn prices are up.
Even environmentalists have turned against ethanol because they say it's responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. Rising corn prices encourage farmers to transform their land from forests and fields to corn, thereby losing the capture of carbon dioxide performed by trees and shrubs. Plus, ethanol production diverts corn from the food pipeline, raising global corn, meat and other food prices. When mixed with gasoline, ethanol also lowers your vehicle's gas mileage.
Ethanol no longer has a federal tax subsidy, but its use in gasoline is still required -- 15.2 billion gallons in 2012, and 36 billion gallons in 2022. Rather than be driven by dictate, the composition of ethanol in gasoline should be determined by demand and the relative costs of each product, which would mean greater efficiency in the energy market and lower prices for consumers.
In addition to such short-run solutions, the administration could consider longer-term supply measures that would enable more gasoline to reach consumers.
The administration could speed up approval of offshore oil and gas exploration and production applications, just as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Aug. 7 announced that he would "fast-track" seven solar and wind electricity-generating plants in California, Arizona and Nevada.
For instance, Obama could "fast track" the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada to our refineries on the Gulf coast to replace the diminishing supply of Mexican and Venezuelan oil, and give speedy approval to requests from individual states from Virginia to California to Alaska for oil exploration.
Gasoline prices are the most visible energy prices in America, more obvious than monthly utility bills. Motorists see them regularly as they drive, even when they do not stop to fill up.
Rising gasoline prices cause politicians to worry. But rising oil prices two months before a presidential election does not qualify as a severe supply disruption, even if it may jeopardize the president's chances for a second term. Leave the SPR for a real emergency.
So if the increase in the price of gas ameliorates the sense of divine majesty in which his lowly subjects hold him in such high regard to effect on his re-election bid, well, then it's simply only a matter of RELEASING THE PETROL so that his loyal subjects can experience now, today, the political cornucopia that four more years of the Bowing Bozo will bring or so he thinks.
I thought that reserve was for military use in case the A-rabs cut off oil to us. How long would that reserve last and how much would it affect gas prices. When the Obamination took office gas was at $1.81 a gallon.
Obama, along with the rest of the hard left, want high gasoline prices but will very rarely, publicly admit it.
How about it,Osama? Sound logical to you?
I am paying 4.29.9 a gallon in Cali, insanity.
The only "emergency" he understands is the risk of being late for a tee time. He's incompetant, and has too many of the same whispering in his ear.
Gas in Somerset County, PA is $3.76
Let me get this straight, this idiot does EVERYTHING he can to get gas prices high then wants us to believe that he is going to make prices go down by using the reserves?
What a pathetic excuse for a pResident. November cannot get here soon enough!
The real surprise will come when we find out that the petroleum reserve is empty. No wonder they call him Zer0.
A really bad idea with the dogs of war growling in the Middle East.
The economy has been so bad since he took office that fuel consumption is way down.
For the week ending this past Wed, 8/22, the price here in Aiken County, SC had been 3.339/gal. Yesterday I noticed it has gone up to 3.429.
Thank goodness South Carolina has some of the lowest gasoline taxes around.
$3.44 here by Fort Jackson.
I think that announcing the figures which apply to our storage of ‘Stragetic Supplies’ is treason.
These numbers would be of great interest to our enemies & should NOT be revealed, IMO.
Another reason Obama should be tried for treason.
Dad says at home (Washington) it’s like $4.19 so not that much difference to CA.
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