About 700 million barrels of oil are stored in the underground reserve on the Gulf Coast, established after the 1973 Arab oil embargo to protect against supply cutoffs. As the US gobbles 21 million barrels a day – this equates to some 300 days supply.
Although the action was expected to have a modest effect on pump prices, its overwhelming support, including from Bush’s usual Republican allies, underscored the potency of fuel costs as a campaign issue this year.
Not everyone agrees though. “Stopping the fill of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has been tried before, and there is no evidence that it will affect the price of oil or gasoline in a meaningful way,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Tuesday. But he said Bush would not veto it.
Joe Barton of Ennis, top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, suggested a suspension in deliveries to the reserve would have no more effect than if Congress “clapped our hands three times and said, ‘Down prices, down prices, down prices.’ ”
It makes you think of some Simpsons sketch where the US’s top lawmakers are seen circling Congress with banners saying “Down Prices, “Down Prices” “Down Prices” .
Trouble is it won’t work. It would make much more sense to invest heavily in renewables, because the more you invest the more the … price comes down…..