Clinton says he may still tap strategic oil supply : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Feb 29, 2000 - 11:12 AM

Clinton Says He May Still Tap Strategic Oil Supply By Anne Gearan Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Clinton said today that he may tap the nation's supply of emergency oil if other options fail to reduce prices.

"I have not taken the petroleum reserve issue off the table, and I certainly wouldn't do that in the event that we don't seem to have any other options," Clinton said before leaving the White House for a political trip to Florida.

Several Northeast lawmakers have urged the administration to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and other administration officials have repeatedly said they do not intend to do that. The reserve is designed to ease supply disruptions and not to influence prices, administration officials have said.

There is also concern that if the strategic reserve were tapped it would make it more difficult to convince OPEC oil producers to increase production when they meet in March to consider future production strategies.

If production goes up, "then oil prices will go down, the gasoline prices will go down, and that's really what is needed here," Clinton said today. "We'll see. I'm encouraged that that might occur."

Richardson visited several leading oil producing countries this weekend, but failed to obtain any firm promises that OPEC would agree to significantly raise its self-imposed production cuts.

The cuts have pushed oil prices up nearly 300 percent since December 1998, from 12-year lows near $10 a barrel, to nine-year highs around $30 a barrel, and led to the highest average U.S. gasoline prices ever.

Unadjusted for inflation, the price at the pump is $1.47 per gallon, according to industry analyst Trilby Lundberg. That is up 6 cents on average in the two weeks ended Friday, the Lundberg Survey of 10,000 stations nationwide reported Sunday.

AP-ES-02-29-00 1108EST

-- Homer Beanfang (, February 29, 2000


Yeah, like that's going to help? I don't think so. Anyway, as someone said--strategic means strategic, like for defense!!

-- Mara (, February 29, 2000.

defense? not a problem, mara, we don't have anything else to defend with. he's taken it all

-- (-@-.-), February 29, 2000.

You know, has anyone stopped to think about an alternative motive for high gas prices? Like SLOWING the raging economy WITHOUT making it look like obvious gov't interference (such as the recent activities of the Fed?)

Personally, I doubt that this scenario is true, but....

-- Dennis (, February 29, 2000.

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