During an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse stated that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is “designed for” an emergency and so therefore, it is “irresponsible” for Republicans in Congress to limit the president’s ability to release oil from the reserves. Rouse stated, [relevant remarks begin around 1:03:30] “Well, the Department of Energy is actually required to do a release. What the Republicans are doing is, they want to block them from making that release.
There’s maintenance that’s happening on the [SPR]. But we need to keep it as a valuable resource, not only to address gasoline prices, but to address an emergency. That is what the [SPR] was designed for, if we have a hiccup in the gasoline availability in some part of the United States, we need to have the [SPR] available at the president’s discretion to be able to address that need. So, it’s — the Republicans have been irresponsible in trying to prohibit the Department of Energy from using the [SPR] and the president from using the [SPR] as the valuable resource it is to protect this valuable resource that we know we need, which is to keep gasoline on the market.” Earlier, Rouse said that the SPR is at “roughly half of its capacity.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett.
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