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Strategic Oil Reserves: Is It Time?

Rising Gas Prices
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Over the last two weeks gas prices have jumped up 33 cents.  With this increase the price of gas is creeping closer and closer to $4/gallon.  As of today, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the state of Texas is $3.40 and $3.75 for diesel.  The National average is $3.50 for regular and $3.87 for diesel.  (

According to White House Chief of Staff William Daley,  the Obama administration was considering tapping into the U.S. strategic oil reserve as a way to help ease soaring oil prices.

While on NBC television’s “Meet the Press,” Daley said,

“We are looking at the options. The issue of the reserves is one we are considering. It is something that only is done — and has been done — in very rare occasions. There’s a bunch of factors that have to be looked at. And it is just not the price.

“All matters have to be on the table when you see the difficulty coming out of this economic crisis we’re in and the fragility.”

The strategic oil reserve was established in the mid-1970s after the Arab oil embargo. It was

Fueling Up
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

tapped most recently in September 2008 in response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. At that time, The Energy Department lent oil to companies whose normal supplies had been adversely affected. Those companies later made restitution in oil. The last time the government sold oil from the reserve was after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Should the White House tap into the strategic oil reserve now to keep gas prices below $4/gallon?

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