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US Budget Deal Would Sell 58M Barrels of Oil From Emergency Reserves

An undated photo provided by the Energy Department shows crude oil pipelines near Freeport, Texas.

Congressional leaders proposed to sell 58 million barrels of oil from U.S. emergency reserves over six years starting in fiscal 2018 to help pay for a budget deal that ends mandatory spending cuts, according to a copy of the bill posted to a congressional website.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) holds more than 695 million barrels of crude in Texas and Louisiana, a bounty that U.S. lawmakers have eyed a few times this year to pay for a new drug program and highway maintenance.

Economists have said reducing SPR stocks is the right idea at the wrong time, given low crude oil prices.

The White House has urged Congress to pass the budget compromise.