The SPR was created in the 1970's as a direct result of the 1973 energy crisis. The SPR's role is to keep short term interruptions of oil imports from crippling our economy. The idea being, should OPEC decide to stop shipping oil to us, or to drastically curtail oil shipments to us, we would have some oil stockpiled while we tried to come to terms with our foreign oil suppliers.
The Senate passed a bill this week halting shipments of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to ease record oil and gas prices. President Bush argued that halting shipments to the SPR is a threat to our national security and would have little effect on cutting oil prices. The Energy Information Administration estimates the fill rate adds about $2 to each barrel of oil and 4 cents to 5 cents per gallon to the price of gasoline.
Sadly, since the vote was virtually veto-proof, Bush will probably sign the bill, even though he opposes it.
I support the stock piling of oil as a hedge against political threats and natural disasters. Has Congress already forgotten that we needed to tap into the SPR after the hurricanes of 2005, due to an interruption in the flow of oil? I realize that 1973 was a very long time ago for most people, but the Middle East is still a volatile region and we are even more dependent on foreign imports than we were then.
Morons! So, for a measly 5 cents a gallon at the pump, they are willing to take a huge risk. Let's just hope that no major hurricanes or other disasters take out any of the major oil importing facilities between now and election day folks. Or, let's hope that OPEC doesn't decide to cut us off or severely cut what they send us because they're getting tired of our occupation of Iraq (and Afghanistan, or again want to chide us for our support of Israel).
Cross your fingers you short-sighted boneheads.