Thursday, June 23, 2011


Well, I'm sure Obama's plan to release part of the Strategic Petroleum is a measured and sober reaction to an unprecedented...

Heh. Can't keep a straight face on that.

Obama’s release from the SPR represents the largest single release in US history. The previous record was 21 million barrels, and was set by President George W. Bush in 2005 in response to the supply disruption when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Obama’s release is not in response to a strategic threat or an actual disruption to US supplies, but to a political threat: High gas prices threaten his re-election. It’s amazing that it has taken this long for the president to figure that out.

Yeah, Obama considers saving his political butt a bigger crisis than Hurricane Katrina.

Now this link has some slightly different numbers for Katrina.

The oil reserve has only been tapped two other times in its 40 year history. The first was during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, the outbreak in the First Gulf War. The second was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 21 million barrels were released during the Gulf War. Following Katrina, 11 million barrels were withdrawn. Today’s draw down of 30 million barrels is fifty percent larger than our record wartime withdrawal.

The administration claims the release was required because of the daily loss of 1.5 million barrel of light, sweet high-quality crude oil from the fighting in Libya. However, hardly any of the Libyan crude ever makes it to the United States — it’s consumed mostly in Europe, specifically by Italy and France.

Further, the Libyan war is more than four months old. Except for an oil spike at the start of NATO bombing, the price of oil has been slowly dropping. Yesterday it settled to a nearly six month low of $95.

Again, Katrina, Gulf War 1... Reelecting Obama Libyan War Hostilities

And what does the Left think? Well they love it.

Raymond Learsy, writing in today’s Huffington Post, praised the president’s decision, congratulating him for releasing the oil to reduce prices at the pump. “He has stood idly by watching the price of oil rocket from $33/bbl in February 2009 to over $100/bbl these past weeks,” Learsy wrote. “Bravo Mr. President!”

Consider that: the Petroleum Strategic Reserve is exactly what its name implies.

It's a stockpile of fuel for emergencies, such as disruptions in distribution and supply due to things like war and natural disasters.

It's finite.

And here the leftists are applauding draining an emergency resource... to push down gas prices. When there is no temporary disaster.

It's a finite resource too. What ever happened to sustainability? What ever happened to the idea that increasing the oil supply wouldn't lower prices due to big oil greed? Isn't that why more domestic drilling won't lower prices at the pump?

What ever happened to consistency or basic logic?

Oh yes.

You know for a fact that if Bush did this the same people cheering Obama would be screaming bloody murder about squandering a critical reserve for cheap political points.

But hey, compared to the Stimulus this is small beer.

The Stimulus nearly doubled the deficit for, well, nothing.

And Steven Green has a reminder.

Remember, oil released from the SPR must eventually be replaced, driving demand higher than it was before. It might be possible to realize a profit — if China’s and India’s economies weaken and/or the dollar regains some strength. Anyone willing to take that end of the bet?

And Obama is going to release 30 million barrels out of a reserve of 727 million barrels.

So he can do this 24 more times. Huh... November '12 is 16 months away.

Some thoughts by Victor Davis Hanson.

Although we are not experiencing a Katrina-like disaster and although there is not an oil embargo, the Obama administration is releasing a sizable amount of oil from the nation’s strategic oil reserve. It may be an understandable move, but like the sudden decision to cut back troops in Afghanistan, it seems eerily to correspond to sinking polls
and reflects angst about the rapidly approaching election cycle.

But the move also raises interesting questions: Obama campaigned and governed on the dictum that increased drilling and supplies had no real effect on prices, hence his advice to inflate tires and “tune up” cars in lieu of more off-shore leasing, and his reluctance to grant exploration rights for shale, tar sands, gas, and oil in the West, Alaska, and the continental shelf. Is that theory now inoperative — or does releasing stored oil have some magical effect that new oil from the ground does not? Is there any sense that we would not have to release stored oil if we would instead look for new sources?

Then there is the seed-corn argument. This administration has a bad habit of consuming and redistributing without producing. We are borrowing trillions that our children must pay back. We are regulating and chastising companies rather than praising them for production. And now we will burn oil that we won’t explore for and which someone earlier bought and stored? Who will make up the millions of barrels withdrawn from the reserve, in case we see a real global war or natural disaster?


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