The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is just that- oil the United States purchase to offset some geo-political or economic event that disrupts the flow of oil, and through that destabilizing the United States economy and way of life.
Last year around July 1st, the President released, in coordination with other nations, millions of barrels of oil from our SPR. The rational was a disruption in the Libya supply of about 1.5 MM barrels daily, which in turn would impact prices and economies. The price of gas was around $3.97 at that time, and was high point as prices soon declined after the release was both announced and happened.
This year we face the highest gas prices at this time of year- EVER. We have Libya back on line, but now Iran and Syria are both at critical high-stress points- although in much different ways. The economic uncertainty of Europe and declining demand have done nothing to reduce oil and gas prices, yet the middle east tensions have pushe prices higher through that reduced demand.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is there for crticial points in our countries path to prosperity. This is a trying time for all of us as we attempt to revive an economy, deal with rising food and gas prices, have a dire need for job creation (or the certainty and environment to allow for it), and to make things worse- we have gridlock in Washington during an election year.
What would you do? Would you release some oil to take the pressure off, off would you wait until the price moves much higher to have a greater impact when you do it? Would you do it now to stem the trend of oil/gas prices, or would you look for other ways to reduce the pain at the pump?
But lastly- would you do it now to remove any doubt about WHY you did it (politically) or would you wait to have the greatest political gain (say in July when prices are about to come down anyway, and the election is closer)?
My take is we should release some now, again in a coordinated effort with other nations. The price of gas and oil greatly impact our disposable income (extra cash to spend) and therefore hurt other areas of the economy at a critical tipping point for America.
You know the funny part? Not one single politician or candidate has made a move to talk about this, let alone do it. Why? My guess- it isn't in their best interest poltically... YET. What do you think?