Senate Democrats and Republicans alike called on President Bush to stop buying 70,000 barrels of oil a day at $120 a barrel to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Senate voted 97-1 to stop buying oil for the reserve until the end of the year.
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said, “Right now, the Bush Administration is putting nearly 70 thousand barrels of oil underground in the SPR every single day, which puts upward pressure on gas prices. At a time when gas prices are nearing $4 a gallon and oil is over $120 per barrel, it makes no sense to be taking oil out of our supply chain, especially when the Reserve is 97 percent full.”
The Ranking Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) said, “This bill says that we can start taking advantage of the billions of barrels of domestic oil that we are not using and begin to reverse the cycle of dependence on foreign oil.”
As usual the White House opposes this bill. Yesterday Press Secretary Dana Perino said, “But the President has — believes that we need an even larger Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to protect ourselves against oil shocks, such as, like I mentioned, instability that might happen in a country around the world. So the SPR that we — the SPR fill that we have now is one-tenth of one percent of daily supply. So it would have a negligible impact on gas prices. But we know that there are a lot of members of Congress who are interested in this idea. We’ll see what they send — or if they’re able to pass any legislation and send it to us. But we don’t believe that it would have a big enough impact on prices for anybody to really notice.”
The White House is correct in saying that this action won’t help the consumer, but what it will do is save the American taxpayer money. Why is the United States government still buying 70,000 barrels of oil a day when the price is a ridiculous $120 a barrel?
This is a colossal waste of tax payer funds. The reserve is 97% full, so I think we can take 6 months off from buying oil to stick in the ground.