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Day Nine: Free Our Oil From Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The price of oil remains staggeringly high. Today, oil closed at $134.60 per barrel - more than 320 percent higher than when President Bush took office. American families and businesses are feeling the impact of the sky-high price of oil every day at the gas pump, grocery store and in every sector of our economy.  

Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have called on the President to draw down a small portion of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to immediately expand available supplies, send a strong message to oil speculators, and help reduce the record prices that are helping push the economy toward recession.

Outside groups agree that releasing small amount of oil from the SPR would be a short-term step forward that would be felt by American consumers at the pump.  

Jim May, Air Transport Association

“…I think we need to take some short-term measures, like trying to figure out, as the Speaker has called for, as we've called for 18 months ago or more, should we release from the SPR? And we think we should, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I think that is another part of the strategy that we ought to entertain…” [7/11/08]

Tom Buis, National Farmers' Union
“On behalf of the family farmers, ranchers, and rural resident members of National Farmers Union, I would like to offer my sincere thanks for your outstanding leadership in addressing America's energy crisis, most recently by calling upon the president to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
America's farmers and ranchers echo your call to the president and most certainly agree that at today's energy prices, our country is entrenched in an emergency.” [7/14/08]

Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations

“Any policies the Administration can implement to break the run-up in crude oil prices are needed. This would include releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I know that crude oil inventories are not the problem, but the oil market is no longer functioning on supply-and-demand fundamentals as many hedge funds drive up the price of crude based on speculation. We need something to break that chain, and a SPR release could do it.” [3/20/08]

Center for American Progress
“The fastest way to bring down gas prices and get relief to Americans is to release a small amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Oil could arrive on the market just 13 days after presidential action, increasing supply and reducing prices. Offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, in contrast, ‘would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030,' according to the Energy Information Administration. Releasing oil is a proven way to dampen speculation and bring down prices.” [7/15/08]

Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters
“Bush's own energy department tells us that offshore drilling will have no effect on gas prices, but Bush and McCain have always made Big Oil's profits their primary concern…With several short-term options to reduce gas prices, including opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and reigning in speculators, it makes no sense for Bush and McCain to embrace an option that won't work and will threaten the physical and economic well-being of millions of Americans.” [7/14/08]