With gasoline prices causing unrest among voters, President Obama is considering tapping America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This purely political move would cause more harm than good—including costing American taxpayers $1.5 billion dollars.
Gasoline prices have surged 42 cents a gallon in the first two months of 2012, setting new records for the most expensive January and February ever at the pump. Americans now pay an average of $3.72 for one gallon of regular gasoline, a 101 percent increase since President Obama took office. Energy analysts project even higher gas prices this summer, warning us to brace for pain at the pump in excess of $4 per gallon.
When faced with voter anger over similar prices last June, President Obama sold more than 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) – a pool created for use only in emergencies to safeguard the U.S. economy and national security against severe supply disruptions. The SPR had sold oil twice before in response to supply emergencies. President Obama’s sale of reserve oil was for strictly political reasons.
Now Democrats are urging President Obama again to misuse the SPR in a transparent election-year attempt to look like he is doing something about skyrocketing gasoline prices. The White House has pointedly said that all options, including tapping the SPR, remain on the table.
There are five primary reasons why repeating this political draw-down would be bad for the American people. (Read more)