House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling on President Bush to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to bring down prices.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced to Democratic leaders Tuesday night that she has written a letter to President Bush, urging him to release a “small” amount of oil from the government stockpile to increase supply and decrease prices, a leadership aide said.
In the letter, Pelosi said the price of a barrel of oil has risen nearly five-fold during Bush’s tenure and called the effects “devastating.”
“These are the kind of circumstances, in addition to national security, in which utilization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is more than justified,” Pelosi wrote in the letter, dated Tuesday.
The reserve comprises a series of Gulf Coast salt caverns that house the largest emergency oil stockpile in the world. It currently holds 706 million barrels, about 97 percent of the reserve’s 727 million barrel capacity. That’s the most the reserve has ever held and would replace foreign supplies for about 58 days.
It is not clear what impact a release would have on current prices. The U.S. uses about 20 million barrels of oil a day.
Wonder if she knows the price of gas yet.
The GOP response from John Boehner’s office:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today released the following statement on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) call for President Bush to release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve:
“With her call for President Bush to release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Speaker is admitting yet again that increasing the supply of oil will help reduce the price of gasoline. I agree that more supply is necessary, and so do my House Republican colleagues who have been arguing for decades in favor of more American energy production. The fact is, the American people expect and deserve far more than what Speaker Pelosi is proposing. House Republicans stand ready to work across the aisle on a real solution to our energy crisis: an ‘all of the above’ plan that increases production of American energy, encourages conservation, and promotes alternative fuels.
“Until the Speaker and her colleagues in the liberal Democratic leadership of Congress unlock our nation’s vast natural energy resources, consumers will continue to see skyrocketing prices at the pump. Gas prices have soared 75 percent on the Democrats’ watch, and the American people are fed up with their endless excuses. Families and small businesses are paying historic prices thanks to more than three decades of Democratic opposition to American energy production – all to protect the interests of their environmental extremist allies. In poll after poll, Americans are saying ‘enough is enough’ and demanding more production of American energy. Today’s proposal by Speaker Pelosi is another acknowledgment that we must do more to increase our energy supply, and House Republicans will continue pushing Democratic leaders to act on real reforms on behalf of the American people.”