Government Weighs Opening Strategic Oil Reserves

Monday, March 07, 2011

Shell oil barrels (flickr user blizzy78)

Political turmoil in the Middle East has brought the price of a barrel of oil over $100. In the U.S., gasoline is averaging $3.50 per gallon. In response, President Obama is considering opening up the nation's strategic oil reserve. Unrest in the Middle East always has a direct correlation to our payments at the pump: OPEC’s oil embargo in 1973, the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s, and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 all led to spikes in oil and gas prices around the world.

Although the losses in Libya's oil production have only reduced the global oil supply by one percent, the Middle East is far from stable.

To help us look into what exactly is the nation's oil reserve and how much oil is there, we’re joined by Lisa Margonelli, a Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of the book “Oil on the Brain — Petroleum’s Long Strange Trip to Your Tank.”


Lisa Margonelli

Produced by:

David J Fazekas

Comments [4]

Cody from Oklahoma

Natural Gas! America has more than enough of this stuff and at $1.35 p/ gal, its a no brainer.This is the bridge between foreign oil and an alternative fuel that we need to use.

Mar. 07 2011 11:18 AM
Melissa Chepuru from Scarsdale, NY

You guys said in some places like California the price of gasoline is already over $4. Welcome to Westchester, that little county just north of the Bronx. I just filled my tank at the Hartsdale Exxon station. The middle grade, "special" they call it, not "super", which is the highest priced gasoline, the "special" is $4.30/gallon. Just so you know,
you don't have to go all the way to California. Thought you should know.

Mar. 07 2011 09:23 AM

The Strategic Oil Reserves is for a national energy emergency such as the closing down of the Suez Canal or the Straight of Hormuz which are real possibilities in the next few years thanks to the current uprisings in the region and hostile governments emerging. This is being considered while the Administration refuses to drill for oil in North America to the extent of even defying a federal court order regarding oil drilling permits. The oil reserve was meant to be for civil defense and not a "political ploy". Somebody paying $6 for a gallon of gas to go to their tax funded green job is not sustainable.

Mar. 07 2011 08:47 AM

Although it might not be the best time to tap the strategic oil reserve, it's definitely time for consumers to consider driving more fuel efficient vehicles, like the ones in this article:

Driving a car with a better mileage rating will protect drivers from spikes in gas prices.

Mar. 07 2011 08:02 AM

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