Gore Urges Sale of Oil From Strategic Reserves

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Thursday September 21 9:41 AM ET

Gore Urges Sale of Oil From Strategic Reserves


By Mark Egan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore on Thursday called on President Clinton to release oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help stabilize decade-high oil prices.

His Republican opponent, George W. Bush, immediately slammed the proposal, calling it an ``election year ploy'' that could threaten national security.

Gore's campaign said in a statement, released ahead of a campaign stop in Maryland, that the vice president has proposed that Clinton start selling oil from the 571-million-barrel reserves in batches of 5 million barrels to increase supplies in advance of winter.

``Al Gore will recommend that the president begin with several swaps of 5 million barrels from the reserve,'' the statement, which Gore will flesh out later on Thursday, said.

``These swaps should result in securing additional home heating oil in advance of winter. Al Gore further proposed that, assuming these sales are useful, the Department of Energy should make swaps from the reserve to further stabilize prices,'' the statement added.

Bush's communications director Karen Hughes told reporters in New York: ``That reserve is intended for strategic and national security purposes, not for election year political purposes.''

She called Gore's plan ``an election year political ploy'' that was ``shortsighted and potentially harmful to national security.''

Earlier this week, Clinton said he needed ``a few more days'' to decide whether to tap the oil reserve to ease tight petroleum supplies and bring down high oil prices.

Clinton's Options

White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said in an interview with CNN that Clinton was considering all the options on the table, including those put forward by Gore.

``The two or three options that Vice President Gore is calling for today are very much among those options that President Clinton does feel are on the table and is considering,'' said Sperling.

Sperling said Clinton would monitor the situation very closely, adding: ``He will take those actions that he believes are best in America's national energy security interests.''

The oil stockpile was set up by Congress in the mid 1970s after the Arab oil embargo, and holds crude in a series of underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. Oil from the reserve has been released only once -- during a national emergency situation during the 1990-91 Gulf War. Late Wednesday, aboard Air Force Two, Gore blasted the oil industry for ``profiteering'' and called on oil-producing nations to increase production.

``The OPEC countries have to keep their promise to raise production and reduce the world oil price,'' Gore said to reporters, referring to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. ``And we need to look carefully at the profiteering that has caused big oil companies' profits to go up two to three times just as Americans are paying sky-rocketing price increases at the gas pump.''

Gore also proposed a temporary tax credit to help oil distributors to build up stocks to increase heating oil supplies, and proposed $400 million of energy assistance for low-income families.

Tight Petroleum Supplies

``One of the central choices we face in this election is whether we will have a president who's willing to stand up to the big oil interests and fight for our families,'' Gore said in prepared remarks for Thursday's rally. ``That's the kind of president I intend to be.''

Heating oil and gasoline prices are rising due to tight petroleum supplies and crude oil costs. Consumers' heating bills are expected to be up to 30 percent higher this winter compared to a year earlier.

Oil prices tipped slightly lower on London markets on Thursday after news of Gore's proposal reached traders. Oil rose to a new 10-year high on Wednesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange, settling at $37.20 a barrel.

``America's energy resources shouldn't be so reliant on others, so subject to shortages, so vulnerable to big oil interests with a disregard for the public interest,'' Gore said. ''I will work toward the day when we are free forever from the dominance of big oil and foreign oil.''

The Gore campaign has stepped up its criticism of Bush and running mate Dick Cheney's links to the oil industry, suggesting they would help oil companies before consumers.

On Wednesday, Bush called for OPEC to boost production of crude oil, saying he would remind the cartel of the role the United States played during the Gulf War.

Bush has suggested opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska -- which could hold billions of barrels of oil -- to energy companies.

U.S. oil production has fallen to its lowest level in half a century since Clinton took office, according to the Energy Department. Gore and Clinton are against giving drilling companies access to the pristine Alaskan lands.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 21, 2000


Anyone remember this? (This was posted 1 year and 7 months ago)

Clinton Orders Oil Stockpile: Can Anyone Confirm This?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


This was posted on another forum on Thursday. Can anyone confirm either the story, or the order, or both? *** By order of Pres. Clinton the government will stockpile 23m gallons of oil to decrease the possibility of a shortage in the future. The oil producers that pump oil from public lands will no longer pay the royalities, they will instead pay with oil.

Saw it on the 9:00 news, Fox channel 4 news, Dallas. (http://y2k.entrewave.com/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=20&Message_ID=27419) *** CO

-- LP (soldog@hotmail.com), February 13, 1999


I heard we're going to buy some oil and put it in reserve to help the poor buggers through this oil glut. -- margie mason (mar3mike@aol.com), February 13, 1999.

U.S. to add oil to emergency petroleum reserves (Note: Link stops working, soon)

http:/ /www.mercurycenter.com/breaking/docs/017993.htm

Posted at 11:16 a.m. PST Thursday, February 11, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration is moving to shore up the petroleum reserves the nation would tap in times of oil crisis with a plan to take 28 million barrels from a glutted marketplace.

The plan announced today by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson would add up to 100,000 barrels daily to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with the government accepting oil instead of cash from companies paying royalties for drilling on public lands in the Gulf of Mexico.

At a news conference, Richardson said the move has a dual purpose: to improve the nation's energy security and refill the reserve with oil now selling at historic lows. ``We are making this step for energy security, for good energy policy,'' he said. ``The American taxpayer wins because oil prices are low and we store for a rainy day.''

Domestic producers who have been battered by depressed oil prices have been clamoring for help from Washington, with reserve replenishment one of the items on their agenda. While the replenishment plan does nothing for the small independent producers who have been among the most affected, Richardson pledged help for them in a series of announcements due next week.

``We want to help our domestic industry. They are hurting. We recognize that,'' he said.

Oil-patch lawmakers welcomed the administration's action to fill the reserves, which are stored in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana.

``I'm very pleased the administration has taken this critical step,'' said Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, who is top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. ``With oil prices at an all-time low, now is the time to strengthen our national energy security by replacing the oil we've drained from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Failure to do so would have been a grave mistake.''

The administration's plan, which does not require congressional approval, closely mirrors legislation introduced last week by Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas.

At a recent Senate hearing on the state of the energy industry, senators and witnesses chided the administration for not replenishing the reserve at a time when prices are at their lowest level since 1986, and some say the lowest since the Depression when adjusted for inflation.

Since 1995, the government has sold 28 million barrels from the reserve as a revenue-producing measure to offset other federal spending. That oil, Bingaman noted, was sold for an average $19.50 a barrel and can be replenished now at a cost of less than $12 a barrel.

The reserve now holds 563 million barrels, more than 119 million barrels below capacity.

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 13, 1999.

Energy Sec. Richardson said, "...we store for a rainy day."

Hmm, how does he know the first 6 months of 2000 are going to be rainy...

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), February 13, 1999.

Another report on this can be found at http://www.fe.doe.gov/techline/tl_sprrik.html It says Clinton sold 28millions barrels out of the reserve previously to satisfy international debt.

-- Ann Fisher (zyax55b@prodigy.com), February 13, 1999.

Yeah, it is also in USA Today, Money section front page. Says that the amount of oil we now have in reserve is enough to replace 62 days of imports. Imagine if the military gets activated in any way, we'll use it up pretty quick.

-- (@@@.@), February 13, 1999.

Story is also on the front page of the Department of Energy web-site:


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 13, 1999.

Can anyone point me to an authoritative source for the following information:

The number of barrels of oil the US consumes daily

The percentage of that which is imported and the percentage which is produced here in the US.

A rough breakdown of how that oil is consumed (power, commercial transportation, private transportation, etc.)

The current size of our strategic petroleum reserves.

How much oil the Dept of Defense uses daily

I assume the strategic reserve is stored as crude (i.e. no refined products are stored. Is this true?


-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), February 13, 1999.


That will take some research, but it should be interesting.

As far as the amount we import, my calculations show that it is:

9,080,645 barrels per day.

Boy, if anything goes wrong with the supply chain, the price will go sky high. That is, if the government doesn't hold it for their use!

-- (@@@.@), February 13, 1999.

The American Petroleum Institute Home Page at http://www.api.org/ has information on oil and natural gas.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), February 13, 1999.

Check out this site



-- Mike (justmike11@yahoo.com), February 13, 1999.

It's Alive! Is government actually stirring? I find this to be the most encouraging news I've heard on y2k in a long time. I didn't know we had a 62 day supply. It's not great but its better than nothing, plus if we can put in another 119 million barrels, that's in the 70 or 80 day range. I wonder if we can store refined product?

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), February 13, 1999.

There was a story the other at this link about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve...


"U.S. To Add 28 Mln Barrels Oil To Reserve"

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 14, 1999.

Its crude, and still has to go through the refining process and the pipeline system.

-- dave (wootendave@hotmail.com), February 14, 1999.

I posted this url before on another thread but for the newbies this is from a dod briefing http://www.dtic.mil/c3i/y2k/slides_1998/sld043.htm papa bear

-- papa bear (itguy@usa.net), February 14, 1999.

Papa Bear, I got a DoD homepage at that URL. What's the name of the article you're referencing?

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), February 14, 1999.

"However, the 28 million barrels of oil the DOE plans to transfer in the reserve equals the amount of foreign oil the United States imports in less than four days, according to the latest department data."

Don't get TOO excited!

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), February 14, 1999.


If you really want to be precise, it is 3.1 days. Total stockpile, enough for 62 days, or about 2 months.

-- (@@@.@), February 14, 1999.

Oh goodie, all the luxury car and SUV owners can relax! I'm so relieved.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 14, 1999.

-- Mrs. Cleaver (Mrs. Cleaver@LITBBB.xcom), September 22, 2000.

U.S. to Release 30 Mln Barrels of Oil From Reserves


-- (in@related.news), September 23, 2000.

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