U.S. Sen. David Vitter today warned the administration of the security concerns of opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. News reports have indicated that Obama will ask other G8 leaders for a coordinated reserve release at their upcoming summit.
"The U.S. is the single most energy-rich country in the world. The problem is that we are also the only country in the world that puts more than 90% of its energy resources completely off-limits," Vitter said. "Last year, the president released 30 million barrels of the reserve to manipulate oil prices and has yet to refill it. Releasing even more this year only lessens our buffer and protection when a true crisis hits."
In February, Vitter introduced legislation that would prohibit opening the SPR unless a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would provide 830,000 barrels a day, was issued. Vitter also wrote op-eds published in the Houston Chronicle and Investor's Business Daily calling Obama's plan to tap the SPR -- election year price fixing.
In Case You Missed It: Obama Gas Price Politics Threaten Our Energy Security: by Sen. David Vitter (Investor's Business Daily, Houston Chronicle)
Excerpt: "The price at the gasoline pump is on the rise again, and liberal Washington's first reaction is predictably stale and political: tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This is clearly driven by election-year politics, leading us down a path fraught with dangers
" So instead of a short-term, election-year price fix, we need to focus on substance and the long term. We need to open our vast domestic resources to exploration and production as well as increase efficiency, use our abundant domestic natural gas more effectively, and develop new technologies and energy sources -- in other words, all of the above."