Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

Your administration has announced the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Reserve was created to protect the U.S. economy from major disruptions to the oil supply that may be caused by events such as wars or natural disasters.

What major disruption to the U.S.oil supply prompted your release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

Why are you releasing the oil now, when crude oil prices have been stable or falling since late April and average U.S. gasoline prices have fallen during the same period from $3.91 to $3.58 a gallon?

Isn’t it true that had your administration lifted the moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf and Outer Continental Shelf when the moratorium was enjoined last year by a federal court as “over broad, arbitrary and capricious,” the oil produced would have amounted to approximately half of that set for release from the Reserve?

Given that your administration has forced Shell Oil to abandon drilling for an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil off the Alaskan Coast, delayed development of oil-shale leases (estimated by your administration to contain approximately 2 trillion barrels of oil-equivalent) and imposed a six-month moratorium on deep-water oil drilling, why shouldn’t your administration’s energy policies be considered a “major disruption” to America’s domestic oil supply?