News / Economy

US to Release Oil from Emergency Reserves

Gas Station manager Joseph Sublett changes a sign reflecting reflecting lower prices in Little Rock, Arkansas, June 22, 2011(file photo)
Gas Station manager Joseph Sublett changes a sign reflecting reflecting lower prices in Little Rock, Arkansas, June 22, 2011(file photo)
Kent Klein

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it is releasing 30 million barrels of oil from the United States’ emergency reserve to offset production lost because of the fighting in Libya.  The U.S. oil will be about half of a 60 million barrel international release.

The United States and the other member nations of the International Energy Agency, or IEA, are trying to head off a resurgence in petroleum prices.

White House officials say more than 140 million barrels of oil production have been lost since the fighting in Libya started earlier this year.

Although oil prices have been falling in recent weeks, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the release of the reserve oil has been discussed for some time.  He said the disruption in oil supplies is as real today as it was several weeks ago.

“This is a move by the IEA, which is a 28-member organization, in a coordinated way to address a sustained, significant disruption in our oil supply, caused by the events in Libya," said Carney.

The president’s spokesman said the administration does not predict prices.  But President Barack Obama has been under political pressure because of higher gasoline prices and their effect on economic growth.

Republican John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, accused the president of using a national security instrument to address his domestic political problems.

In a written statement Thursday, Boehner instead called for a national energy policy which involves increased oil production.

Carney said the release of U.S. strategic oil reserves during the next 30 days is intended to increase market supplies as demand increases when Americans take their summer vacations.

“What we are addressing is an impact caused by a supply disruption," he said. "At this time, it is necessary to do it because we are about to enter into the season when demand is at its highest.”

Although the United States and the other 27 IEA countries reached the decision together, Democratic Representative Edward Markey said the release will protect the U.S. economy and put other oil producers on notice.

“We are an oil-consuming nation," said Markey. "But with today’s announcement, we are sending a message to OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] and the oil-producing countries that we are not going to have our economy held hostage any longer.”

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was established in the 1970s in response to the OPEC oil embargo.  The reserve holds a record 727 million barrels of oil stored underground near the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Officials say President Obama is open to releasing more oil from U.S. reserves, but that he has not decided to do so.  

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8836
JPY
USD
118.88
GBP
USD
0.6451
CAD
USD
1.2469
INR
USD
61.751

Rates may not be current.