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Tapping The Strategic Petroleum Reserves

Updated on July 11, 2011

Tapping The Strategic Petroleum Reserves

Perhaps one of the few good policies implemented by the Carter Administration, along with brokering the Camp David Peace Accords, was procuring and securing oil for emergencies… better known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR). This farsighted thinking and prudent action was probably borne out of the oil shortage that took place in the early 70s… when there were country-mile long gas lines.

Those who read this blog should know by now that Verily Prime is no fan of President Obama, but when the President is unfairly criticize, I am objective enough to point this out. Such is the case in the flood of criticism the President is taking over tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. Yes, it is true that President Obama did so at a time when gas prices seem to be abating, but regardless if he did so to sure up his pole numbers… the fact is that President Bush, the younger, did the same too during Katrina.

It is somewhat funny to hear the then Senator Obama spelling out the reasons why any President should tap into the reserves - incidentally, none of those reasons currently meet the criteria for President Obama’s tapping – but nonetheless, it is what politicians do. What is tiring is the two sides blaming each other for the tactics both have engaged in. I know of the import of having the oil reserves, but who does it hurt if the citizens’ energy burden is lessened? The problem must lie in the fact that those opposed to President Obama do not want him to get any tailwind from opening the reserves – the problem I have with this mentality is that politics is overshadowing the needs of the people and sadly, both parties practice such politics with lethal aplomb.

The political scientists should not ponder why there are so many registered Independents and embryonic movements like the ‘Tea Party’ holding sway for a huge swath of the electorate. It has been good that we have had two competing parties because it gave credence to the all important ‘checks and balances,’ but politics now seems to have become an ego-driven sport… with the peoples’ welfare caught in the machine-gun cross fire. This specious debate on whether President Obama should have tapped into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves is what we are witnessing, highlighted by the massive waste of time, both parties spend going at each other for what both are guilty of, one time or the other.


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    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 6 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      The Strategic Petroleum Reserves exist in case of an emergency. A real emergency is providing fuel for hospitals, police, shelters and shipping of supplies in a crisis such as an Iranian blockade of the straights of Hormuz blocking oil out of the Middle East or mass terrorist (Muslim or environmentalist) strikes against oil processing and delivery terminals like Houston.

      High gas prices from other constraints such as shutting down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico or high demand are not an emergency. And the high prices will drive drilling and development of alternatives.

      The Strategic Petroleum Reserves should not be used to "level" oil prices or buy votes.