President Obama: Will release oil from SPR if needed

President Barack Obama today defended his administration’s energy policies.

At a White House press conference, the president took credit for a jump in domestic petroleum production during his time in office and denied that regulators had been slow to approve new offshore drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico.

Criticism of his the go-slow process for offshore drilling “may make for a good sound bite but it doesn’t match up with reality.”

Obama answered questions amid political instability in the Middle East and North Africa that has sent crude oil prices skyrocketing 25 percent over the past year. The Libyan civil war pushed oil futures to $106.95 on March 7, its highest level since Sept. 26, 2008.

Pump prices have spiked in America, and some economists are predicting that gasoline will cost U.S. consumers more than $4 per gallon by this summer. “For Americans already facing tough times, it’s an added burden,” he said.

Some members of Congress have been pushing the president to release some of the 727 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help calm markets and reduce prices. But there has been little demand for use of the

At the press conference, Obama said he will release oil from the petroleum reserve “should the situation demand it.”

“All options are on the table when it comes to any supply disruption,” he said.

Obama pointed to a jump in domestic oil production and federal lands leased for development  the highest in seven years to beat back claims that it has slowed offshore work in the wake of last year’s Gulf oil spill.

Offshore drilling advocates in Congress and industry are accusing the Obama administration of misleading lawmakers and the public by insisting that oil production has reached new highs, despite delays in permitting Gulf exploration work.

Both sides are waging a statistical war over domestic oil development, in light of rising oil and gasoline prices stoked by unrest in Libya and the Middle East.

Erik Milito, upstream director for the American Petroleum Institute, says the administration is unfairly taking credit for long-term decisions that were made long before President Obama took office.

“It’s completely disingenuous to say that offshore production has increased due to anything this administration has done,” Milito said. An increase in public land leased for oil and gas development is “attributable to these decisions to lease almost a decade ago.”

36 Comments

  1. Cowgirl

    Idiot. It is the dollar, and not the demand.

    #1
  2. BigTexN

    That moratorium is working out SWELL, Mr. President!

    #2
  3. Ted

    “All options are on the table when it comes to any supply disruption,” he said.
    ————-
    He means his options on his fuel commodity plays on Wall Street.
    They’re going short right now, bammy.

    #3
  4. Indianpaintbrush

    And not a single mention in this rag of a paper that the only permit that was recently awarded is now being held up in court and Noble cannot use it.

    #4
  5. kztoy

    On one hand he says in defense to criticism of his the go-slow process for offshore drilling “may make for a good sound bite but it doesn’t match up with reality”, but then he goes on to say that he will release oil from the petroleum reserve “should the situation demand it.”

    Reality is that offshore drilling permitting was halted entirely, and wasn’t just a “go-slow” process.

    So he goes from talking literally to figuratively, because he certainly isn’t going to go to one of the SPR’s and start turning valves. But hey, it makes for a good sound bite…

    #5
  6. Tom Fowler

    Indianpaintbrush:
    Where are you getting that information? My colleague who follows the permits (but has been with us at CERAWeek this week) thought the APD said they had to spud by the end of this month. Is it possible you’re referring to a different permit? Has someone else written about that? If so send us a link. If we knew about that we would write about it because it’s a pretty important issue here in Houston.

    #6
  7. Paul

    Drill baby DRILL!

    But don’t expect ‘Hope and Change’ Obama to lift a finger (here or abroad.) He is too busy wanting to become President of China.

    Sara Palin was right and Obama was (and is) wrong. He has seriously compromised our abilities to meet any emergency.

    #7
  8. Obama: I’ll release the reserve oil if it’s needed..
    Perry: I’ll release the Rainy Day Fund if it’s needed..

    #8
  9. WalkTheTalk

    I’m willing to pay higher at the pump, than to have our military involved in whats going on in the Middle East.

    #9
  10. Dalaran Sharp

    I love how NONE of the comments offer any opinions on whether he should release the oil reserves or not. But rest assured, as soon as he makes a decision, there will be TONS of comments offering opinions on exactly the opposite of what he decided.

    #10
  11. rich

    Tom here are the number from the BOEM website http://www.gomr.boemre.gov/homepg/offshore/safety/well_permits.html
    If it’s anything like the national maritime center it will take years to process new apps, notice they kick well over half back in the >500 ft catagory. It’s not obama that does that it the idiots they hire or contract out to.

    #11
  12. Adler

    We saw how successful GWB was when he released SPR oil in 2008 to counter market manipulation. Obama must think because it’s him doing the releasing the outcome will be different.

    #12
  13. Govchance

    There is no defense of his enegry policy, it is dumb and naive. His so call policy will just be another nail in the coffin of his misguided presidency. When oil gets over $4.00 a gallon as 2012 rolls around the high prices will be easy to lay on his doorstep. Although there will be a lot of pain and misery associated with high enegry prices, getting rid of this socialist may very well be worth it. That is, if he doesn’t destroy the country first.

    #13
  14. richwood7

    Actually the release of oil from the USA reserves would be foolish. We are already flush with oil. Speculators have driven up the prices. Our reserves (not strategic reserves, just the regular reserves)are billions of barrels higher now than they were last year and Saudi Arabia has said they will make up any shortfalls. It is the anticipation by speculators that their might be problems in the future and thus shortfalls that are driving up the prices. If we produced more oil here we wouldn’t have these problems. Impact overseas is not as bad because a much larger percent of the price of, say, gasoline is due to taxes than it is here therefore a 20% increase of fuel may be a 15% increase in price here but overseas it may be 5% (numbers just used for examples). I would much rather pay taxes on fuel and keep the money here in the USA, the drilling and labor costs here, piping, refining etc but our government Republican and Democrat prefer to ship the labor, income, profits, and control of our energy needs overseas to nations hostile to us than to keep our strategic needs safely under our control. Our government is more concerned about which party looks good (actually they are more concerned about making the other party look bad) have absolutely no interest welfare of the United States and it’s people. First thing the Republicans did when they took over the Senate was pass an additional $800 billion increase in debt and then are trying to balance the budget by cuts in Medicare and Social Security. Remember how they howled about Obama trying to cut medicare??? Remember the “death panels” the Republicans bemoaned? Now they want to cut funding to seniors who do not have long to live as a saving plan. They also opposed drilling off of Florida becaue Bush’s brother was governor. Now they complain that Obama is not allowing drilling off the coast of America.

    #14
  15. Cletus J. "Bubba" Huckabee Jr.

    OK, let’s do the math, the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve holds 727 million barrels of oil. The daily consumption in America is 20.6 million barrels. That means the reserve could supply the petroleum needs for 35 days. That isn’t going to make any significant difference in price or in supply. Does anybody in Washington have basic math skills these days?

    #15
  16. bcullum

    The President was correct when he said that even if we started drilling tomorrow, the oil would not be available for some time. But why did no reporter bring up the fact that for each day we delay drilling for new oil the oil will not be available for another day. We need to use all available technologies to produce energy – renewable and non-renewable alike. We need a sensible energy policy, not just a sustainable one.

    #16
  17. Dalaran Sharp

    Govchance: So should he release the reserves or not? Cough up your opinion! Let’s hear it!

    #17
  18. lab-handler

    Obama – “I’ll float anything as long as you give me time to run some polls, check the results, and if I like what i see, then i just need to clear it with Trumpka, Pelosi, and Reid. I am so Presidential, I have to wear shades”.

    #18
  19. As much as I hate paying the additional price, I don’t think the reserve should be tapped. I do, however, think off shore drilling should resume and increase.

    #19
  20. Texas Engineer

    Releasing the reserves will do little to nothing as far as the price of gas – what WILL help requires Odoofus and his merry bunch of liberal loonies to increase domestic drilling and allow the completion of the pipeline from Canada’s shale oil fields to the U.S.

    #20
  21. Gabacho

    This fool just needs to be impeached. That is the only way to save this country.
    We’ve never had a “president” who is a racist and hates America with a passion. He was planted and elected, thanks to George Soros and a media run by liberal morons-who support Democrats no matter what they do.

    The issue is not supply and demand-it’s the speculators, who are setting the price. Valero is at 75% production. They can ramp up to 80% and make up for Lybia’s 1.5% share in the world’s oil production.

    It’s funny ! Obama hates self made millionaires, unless they help Obama crush the USA, and those speculators are rich fat cats!

    Obama wants businesses, that are usually controlled by the evil white man, and living in states that don’t cherish Obama.

    Obama wants $10 per gallon.

    #21
  22. Mike

    What energy policy? Stopping the U.S. from getting it’s own oil is not an energy policy. It’s a recipe for a loooooooooooooooooong bad economy. obama hates this country and everything about it. He should go back to being bullied on the playground. Wimp.

    #22
  23. Tom Fowler

    Gabacho:
    Valero only refines oil, it doesn’t produce it.

    #23
  24. InShock&Awe

    I love that first paragraph:
    “President Barack Obama today defended his administration’s energy policies.”

    Truthfully, I had no idea such a thing existed.

    #24
  25. Disgusted

    President Cloward-Piven prepares to strike again.

    #25
  26. Dino

    Okay, “if it’s needed”. When will he think we need it? Maybe at $10 a gal??

    #26
  27. TXSFRED

    Dalaran Sharp
    March 11, 2011, 2:07 PM
    I love how NONE of the comments offer any opinions on whether he should release the oil reserves or not. But rest assured, as soon as he makes a decision, there will be TONS of comments offering opinions on exactly the opposite of what he decided.
    +++++++++
    Dear Daralan,
    .
    It’s TOO easy to criticize President Obama. That is not our problem – but yours – when you try to justify his totally unqualified performance to date – and I am sure that will still be my opinion the LAST time I see him as he has done one thing right the last two years. I’ll let you guess which that was. Bet you can’t, since you are a supporter.

    #27
  28. txanna

    I was against using the reserve when Bush was being pressured to release some of the supply and I am against it still today. It is a knee jerk reaction to a temporary problem.

    #28
  29. At the press conference, Obama said he will release oil from the petroleum reserve “should the situation demand it.”
    Mr.O’Bummer, our wallets are strained from paying gas prices and you don’t think the situation demands it? Drill, Drill and drill some more.

    #29
  30. TexRancher

    Why doesn’t Kenya Boy release the permits to drill our own oil from the known massive reserves?

    We have the emergency reserves for, well yeah, EMERGENCIES! Not to cover short falls because some numbnuts in the WH refuses to allow us to become energy independent!

    Only a subversive would want to keep us dependent on countries that HATE US!

    #30
  31. “At a White House press conference, the president took credit for a jump in domestic petroleum production during his time in office and denied that regulators had been slow to approve new offshore drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico.” — Obama took credit for something that was set in place 9 or 10 years ago – during another administration. He credits himself for the a jump in oil production – LIAR! His decision NOT to drill since the Horizon disaster will be affecting us in later years. Let’s not forget that last February it took a federal court to order Obama to allow five drilling permits the go-ahead. The new rules and regulations HIS ADMINISTRATION set in place are either holding up new drilling, or have made it difficult for drillers to even apply. In the meantime, unemployment due to HIS POLICY is greatly affected.

    #31
  32. SarahATP

    Texas Engineer
    March 11, 2011, 4:18 PM
    “Releasing the reserves will do little to nothing as far as the price of gas – what WILL help requires Odoofus and his merry bunch of liberal loonies to increase domestic drilling and allow the completion of the pipeline from Canada’s shale oil fields to the U.S.”
    -=-
    First off… with “Odoofus” in office we now have over 1700 rigs actively
    drilling in the US and 46 actively drilling in the US GOM. I know you guys hate facts, but these are facts! This is the third highest actively drilling rig count in the US since 1987. Also, cry for the oil companies to drill for OIL if that’s what we need, instead of drilling 53% NG wells.

    The pipeline you speak of has not been approved by the Canadian Government, just like the one Palin was trying to take credit for throughout the 2008 campaign, even though it hadn’t been started or even approved, she was talking about “HER” pipeline from Alaska through Canada into the US… it was just a big lie repeated over and over to those that would believe her.

    SATP

    #32
  33. SarahATP

    Correction… if the pipeline you are referring to is the “Horn River pipeline project”, it has now been approved by the Canadians… 34 days ago. Hardly what anyone would call “shovel ready”.

    #33
  34. pdh42

    Liberals and Nobama don’t want to do what is really needed and that is to start drilling NOW…. If this paper was not so biased it would be calling for drilling and not to turn lose the EMERGENCY reserves…. BTW what happens if Nobama and the liberals drain the SPR and then there is a REAL emergency???? I bet they would try to blame it on Bush and the Republicans for Nobama and none of the progressives or the LSMedia have the backbone to admit that they are wrong on anything….

    #34
  35. Art Vandeley

    If Obama drains the United States oil reserve dry, leaving our country strategically vulnerable, he should be impeached. Any 10th grade economy student could tell him it would result in only a very, very short decrease in fuel prices.

    #35
  36. Tom Fowler

    pdh42
    Where is “this paper” calling to turn lose the reserves? Pretty sure there’s no editorial page statement written by the Chron staff.

    #36