Press ReleaseAug 16, 2012
Markey: President Obama Right to Consider Using SPR to Relieve Consumer Pain at the PumpIssues: Gas Prices
Markey: President Obama Right to Consider Using SPR to Relieve Consumer Pain at the Pump
Washington, D.C. (August 16, 2012) – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, today commended the Obama administration, who media report is considering releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in an effort to address rising gas prices. In February, Rep. Markey urged the Obama administration to release oil from the SPR and enhance its flexibility and security. Last year, at the urging of Rep. Markey and other House Democrats, President Obama used the reserve during the Libyan uprising to tamp down prices by eight percent.
“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.
“It is critical for the President to address gas price spikes in the short-term as his administration continues to implement fuel economy standards and clean energy solutions that will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil in the long-term.”
Releasing oil from the SPR has driven down prices in the past. When President George H. W. Bush deployed oil from the SPR in 1991, oil prices immediately dropped by more than 33 percent. When President Clinton exchanged oil from the SPR in 2000, it again drove prices down by nearly 19 percent. When President George W. Bush released oil from the reserve in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, oil prices fell by more than 9 percent. And last year, when President Obama directed the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR -- less than five percent of the reserve -- in conjunction with the release of an additional 30 million barrels from international partners, prices declined by eight percent.