Strategic moves


Wary of a new surge in gas prices, the Obama administration said Thursday it is releasing 30 million barrels of oil from the country’s emergency reserve as part of a broader international response to lost oil supplies caused by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly Libya.

The release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be the largest ever, amounting to half of a 60 million-barrel international infusion of oil planned for the world market over the next month.

Could this have something to do with Obama’s declining approval ratings?

National Journal (my emphasis):

The Energy Department said, “The situation in Libya has caused a loss of roughly 1.5 million barrels of oil per day – particularly of light, sweet crude – from global markets. As the United States enters the months of July and August, when demand is typically highest, prices remain significantly higher than they were prior to the start of the unrest in Libya.”

Republicans have repeatedly slammed President Obama over the unusually high prices, and Obama himself has noted his poll numbers appear to rise and fall with the price of gasoline. Many political strategists say that voter anger over near-record oil and gasoline prices could be a determining factor in the 2012 elections.

Via Hot Air, the American Petroleum Institute:

The release makes little sense for American markets. Crude and gasoline inventories are above average, and crude and gasoline prices have been trending down for weeks, despite the loss of Libyan oil, which markets have already adjusted to. The SPR was intended to be used for supply emergencies. There is no supply emergency. We don’t know what impacts this might have on markets long term. But we could and should be taking steps that would increase our own production by 2 million barrels a day or more for decades, which is possible if the government would grant much greater access to America’s ample oil and natural gas reserves. This would do vastly more to help consumers, increase energy security, create jobs and deliver more revenue to our government. It’s action that would truly strengthen our energy future, not a temporary gesture that has no lasting benefits.

30 million barrels is about what our nation consumes in a day-and-a-half. 60 million barrels (the total IEA release) is well under what the world consumes in a day.

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23 Responses to Strategic moves

  1. Dario says:

    Could it be that the 3 day rolling average Gallup Poll has Obama at 50 percent disapproval and 43 approval? Nah! Obama is too cool to be worried about his approval/disapproval numbers. Snark.

  2. foxyladi14 says:

    buying votes with oil… 😆

  3. votermom says:

    Speaking of oil, drill, baby, drill is one of the issues that I’ve come around to seeing as a reason to support for Palin.
    In the past I’ve believed in pursuing alternative energy (and I still do) but there is no one in Washington with the will to do this. Green jobs with BO are a cruel joke.

    Given that:
    a. I am pretty much resigned to Hillary sitting out 2012.
    b. I am concerned about the environment, I think pollution is making us all sick, but I recognize that the USA must become energy independent for reasons of the economy and security.
    c. The oil squeeze is such that whoever becomes President in 2012 will have to drill.
    d. I don’t trust oil company executives an inch (just see what they did to the Gulf).
    e. I don’t trust traditional politicians who are all just too happy to get kickbacks from oil companies to look the other way while they break safety regulations and cook books.
    f. Palin is the only contender with a track record of making oil companies follow the dang rules.
    So since we clearly are going to have to drill, she’s the only one I trust to keep a beady eye on the oil companies while they drill.

    You can all go ahead and throw rotten veggies at me now.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Well according to Joan Walsh yesterday:

      You must be one of those people who’s allowed herself to be brainwashed by the mainstream media including Fox News into thinking that climate change is not real. The fault is not with President Obama or Washington for not leading on green energy and jobs. The fault is with all the people across the land who’ve been dummified by Fox News. So Al Gore is totally wrong to criticize our ever wonderful President on the lack movement on this issue. Al should know that President Obama is incapable of being wrong.

  4. ralphb says:

    The proper response to oil prices is “Drill, baby, drill” not “Release, baby, release”. There may be close to a 10 year lag but if we had been drilling, the lag would be over now.

  5. I seem to remember in 2008, when Hillary asked for the capping of the gas prices, Petroleum Obama denounced that as political opportunism.

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