Obama to Cameron: Let’s tap our strategic oil reserves together
posted at 11:35 am on March 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
Remember that Barack Obama insists that there are “no silver bullets” to fix the issue of high gas prices. So when British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Washington for high-level talks and the discussion turned to gas prices, what did Obama propose? According to Reuters, holy water and a garland of garlic:
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves during a meeting on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the talks said, the first sign that Obama is starting to test global support for an effort to knock back near-record fuel prices. Obama raised the issue during a broad bilateral meeting at the White House, according to a UK official with knowledge of the discussion.
Asked about the talks, a senior Obama administration official said: “No agreement was reached. We will continue to work together to address energy security and oil price issues.” While U.S. officials have said for weeks that they will consider all possible measures – including a release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) – to prevent prices from derailing a nascent economic recovery, Wednesday’s meeting was the clearest indication that diplomatic talks were moving ahead. Discussions could last as long as several months before any decision is made, one of the sources said.
We’ve discussed the demand from Democrats on the strategic petroleum reserve on a number of occasions. The problem with the gasoline and oil markets isn’t a temporary disruption in a healthy supply, however, which is what the SPR is designed to buffer. The problem is a chronically and artificially suppressed supply, thanks to Democratic insistence on blocking domestic energy production and oil extraction over the last three decades or more.
This is what Obama refers to as the “silver bullet,” claiming that expanding drilling and extraction is a short-term policy that won’t enhance American energy independence. That’s utter nonsense; drilling is a long-term solution that actually addresses the chronic supply issue and — not coincidentally — the trade imbalance, the weak dollar, jobs, economic growth, and a number of other issues in the American economy. If drilling is short-term thinking, then what can a one-time release from the SPR be called — the ADD solution?
Jim Geraghty gives a chronicle of SPR releases:
The “emergency” would seem to be Obama’s poll numbers. Then again, this seems to be a Democratic candidate tradition; Al Gore called for the same move while running for president in 2000.
Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has been sold five times in its history: Most recently in 2011 during the conflict in Libya; in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina; a sale of $227 million worth of oil during fiscal year 1996 to reduce the federal budget deficit; in 1990-1991 during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and a small “test sale” in 1985.
And how well have those releases worked as long-term solutions? Tina Korbe noted that gas prices actually went higher within weeks of the release last summer. The only reason for an SPR release now would be for the “emergency” Jim identifies — the electoral emergency Obama will face if gas prices continue to rapidly increase.
The RNC has a new video out today showing just how often Obama has reminded us that there are “no silver bullets” on gas prices — and how little he has done to implement a long-term policy that will lower them:
A few more of these references, and Bob Seger and Coors may have a case for trademark violation.