Senate Democrats

Democratic Senators Discuss Efforts To Provide Energy Relief For American Consumers

Washington, DC— Democratic Senators Jeff Bingaman and Byron Dorgan joined Tim Lynch of the American Trucking Associations at a press conference today to discuss the Democratic proposal to suspend filling the nearly full Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in order to increase supply and lower energy prices.  With the SPR already 97 percent full, we have more than enough oil in storage for emergencies.  Under the Democratic proposal the United States will stop stockpiling barrels of oil until December or until the 90-day average price of crude oil recedes to at least $75. 

 “While everyone agrees that having oil in reserve is extremely important, nobody can make the case that filling the reserve makes sense when oil prices are rising to new records near-daily,” Bingaman said.  “Suspending the SPR fill will keep the government from competing for oil in the marketplace and driving up fuel costs for American motorists and truckers during the summer driving season.”

Said Dorgan: “Right now, the Bush Administration is putting nearly 70 thousand barrels of oil underground in the SPR every single day, which puts upward pressure on gas prices.  At a time when gas prices are nearing $4 a gallon and oil is over $120 per barrel, it makes no sense to be taking oil out of our supply chain, especially when the Reserve is 97 percent full.”

“We must reduce energy costs if we are to have a healthy economy,” Lynch said.  “Suspending further filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is one small but important step toward achieving that goal.”