Domenici has also condemned any proposal to release oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a response to rising gasoline prices:
“Sen. Schumer’s resolution to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard this year.
“Former President Clinton tried this and it failed. He opened SPR in September, 2000. The price of oil dropped a few dollars, but prices at the pump dropped only one penny over the next six weeks. That’s because the sudden availability of 30 or 40 million barrels of oil is only a tiny factor in gas prices. Keep in mind this country consumes 20 million barrels of oil a day.
“We are still at war against terror. Each day, we confront global violence and the threat of terrorism. We face the real threat of having our oil supplies disrupted if key pipelines, refineries, or tankers are attacked by terrorists.
“Today, we have 660 million barrels of oil in SPR — that’s a 60 day supply of imported oil and 30 supply of total U.S. consumption. If we open SPR and sell that oil, what happens if our oil supply is sharply disrupted? At that point, we are powerless to ensure our own commerce. We would be fools to risk a security asset like SPR just to save a penny or two at the pump.”
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