Via the Free Beacon, Sen. Chuck Schumer gives us a measure of Democratic support for an attempt to game the gasoline market through the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Schumer appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box, where the host noted that former GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman wants a release from the SPR when prices rise above … $108 a barrel? The host notes that we’ve had $150 per barrel pricing without attempting to manipulate the markets, and Schumer responds that there is a better solution. Guess what it is:
KERNEN: What is the number for the SPR, senator? We had Huntsman saying we should do the SPR $108. I was like, $108? We didn’t do it at 150, did we?
SCHUMER: No, the SPR is not as good a solution as the Saudi solution for a couple of reasons. First, it’s limited. The Saudis could produce an additional 2.8 million barrels of oil, way on into the future. The SPR is somewhat limited and the SPR works better when there’s an immediate crisis caused by a natural disaster, a Katrina or something like that. It’s something that I would look at if the Saudis absolutely said no, but it’s not close to as good a solution as this.
Hey, you know who could also produce a few million barrels of oil a day more? We could … if the Obama administration took the shackles off of exploration and production in the US. We have plenty of oil on land, in the Gulf of Mexico, and on both continental shelves as well as in ANWR. We could also have approved the Keystone XL pipeline in order to bring more Canadian oil to market in the US as gasoline at the pumps through our refineries in the Gulf.
Instead of looking at truly long-term solutions, Schumer and Democrats instead set this up as a choice between having the White House spend the SPR — which is held for true emergencies that result in disruptions to the distribution chain — or begging the Saudis to sell us more of their crude. That’s how far reasonable Democrats will go in attempting to create more energy independence for the US.