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Monday, May 24, 2004
Brian Arner got me thinking about John Kerry's constant claim that the best way to deal with high gasoline prices is to divert resources from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
From the Remarks by the President After Cabinet Meeting
The Cabinet Room:
Q Sir, Senator Kerry has suggested halting shipments to the emergency oil reserves. Your energy bill is a long-term strategy. What are some short-term steps that can be taken?
THE PRESIDENT: If people had acted on my energy bill when I submitted it three years ago, we would be in a much better situation today.
Secondly, we will not play politics with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That Petroleum Reserve is in place in case of major disruptions of energy supplies to the United States. The idea of emptying the Strategic Petroleum Reserve plays -- would put America in a dangerous position in the war on terror. We're at war. We face a tough and determined enemy on all fronts. And we must not put ourselves in a worse position in this war. And playing politics with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would do just that.
Brian wonders what the SPR has to do with the war on terrorism. I would argue that it has more to do with the eventuality of any catastrophe that might affect the international fuel delivery infrastructure. That is the purpose for which the reserve is intended. It is NOT intended to help curtail rising fuel prices.
Far be it from me to suggest that we follow the Bush agenda verbatim (there are pieces of it with which I disagree). However, the President has a point about his energy policy; specifically, the freedom to identify potential domestic fuel resources that would free us from the albatross of OPEC.
Kerry knows that opening the oil reserves during a non-emergency is foolish, and is just being a political opportunist. What would happen were there an actual disruption in fuel delivery rather than just a bit of turbulence as we are experiencing now? Then what would Kerry's solution be? I'm not sure there is one to offer, but Kerry certainly won't let that stop him from assailing the president for doing the practical thing here.
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