Was President Obama right or wrong in his decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced last week the U.S. government, in coordination with other member countries of the International Energy Agency, was releasing oil reserves to relieve pressure on the global oil market. The United States is releasing 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR, which is roughly 5 percent of the total reserve. Administration officials said they would consider whether more oil should be released in a month. This is only the third time an administration has tapped the SPR since it was created in 1973 in response to the Arab oil embargo. The other two times were in response to a war and natural disaster.
What precedent is this administration setting by tapping into the reserves at a time of ongoing unrest in the Middle East and seemingly sustained high oil prices? What does this say for the nation's energy policy overall? Should it provide more impetus to wean the United States off foreign oil and to other sources of energy? Should it be a sign that the administration needs to invest in more domestic oil and gas drilling?