The news today from the Obama Administration was political, and it was wrong.
The Obama administration will release 30 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve in an effort to offset oil supply disruptions in the Middle East, the Energy Department announced Thursday morning. Other countries will release an additional 30 million barrels.
There is no doubt the national economy is rocky, and even Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke admitted to being dumbfounded Wednesday by the lackluster recovery. But that should in no way have led anyone to think the strategic petroleum reserve is an option to be employed at this time.
The reserves should only be used in emergency situations when international conditions make the use of this oil a necessity. That the economy is fragile, and the increase of oil prices may limit economic expansion is not enough of a reason to consider tapping the reserves. There is never a good time, economically speaking, for a spike in oil prices.
It is obvious that instability in the Middle East is causing some of the price increase. But the international need for oil and energy, along with the higher demand that will take place when world-wide economies do truly bounce back, will insure higher oil prices well into the future.
Just how long do Americans think the reserves should be used?
Lets be honest, high gas prices make drivers upset but that is not a reason at all to think about the reserves.
That for decades the American people have not wanted to address the tough decisions about how to modernize cars, find alternate sources of energy, and remove themselves from the seemingly never-ending oil supplies from the Middle East is no reason to tap these reserves now.
We should have forced Congress to mandate that car companies make engines with higher miles-per-gallon. We should have understood the need for alternate methods of transportation, and been willing to pay for it like other modern places around the globe.