This week in Washington another house committee on energy debated the pros and cons of releasing some or all of the strategic petroleum reserve to help lower gas prices. Rep. Markey (D-Ma) presided over a panel of experts from consumer advocacy, MIT Energy Research fellows, and others who floated various ideas from suspension of gas taxes to switching expensive light crude for less expensive heavier crude reserves.
Intentions are to provide a temporary cost reduction in gas prices as was accomplished in the 1980's under a similar release of strategic reserves, With between 50 and 75 million barrels of oil in US strategic oil reserves, price relief would be short lived but would send a message to OPEC and others that the US is not happy with current high prices in the market.
Unfortunately, with the extreme demand for oil from developing nations including China and India, US influence over oil production and pricing continues to erode. Will Bush and his Big Oil cronies allow this measure to impact short term oil company profits? Most can predict the way the wind will blow on this decision.
Interestingly enough, Biofuels, long considered to be on the fringe of US energy supply are increasingly accepted in calculations of energy resources we are in fact depending upon more and more. This hearing, once again, banged the gong of our energy emergency, the need for more energy independence and the hope for a miracle in the short future through technology, drilling in US territory such as Anwar or rapid deployment of other energy alternatives.
Bart Allen Berry is the Founder of MyEnergyPlanet web portal all about energy efficiency, energy savings and the new energy economy.
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