I was asked by the National Journal to weigh in on the following question for their Energy & Environment blog:
"What precedent is this administration setting by tapping into the reserves at a time of ongoing unrest in the Middle East and seemingly sustained high oil prices?"
Here is my answer:
Precedence? You ask what precedent the administration is setting by tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for only the third time in our nation's history? I'll tell you. They are setting a precedent as easily the most blatantly political administration ever in American history.
I'll offer just a few examples of the evidence:
1. This is the administration with a publicly stated objective to "boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."
2. This is the administration that cancelled existing leases on millions of acres of federal land and banned development in vast amounts of reserves both on and off-shore.
3. This is the administration that was ordered by a federal court to lift an ill-conceived moratorium on drilling in the gulf, and then was found in contempt with a "determined disregard" of the court's ruling to start issuing permits.
4. This is the administration that turned "a regulatory firehose" on US business and the energy industry in particular with 29 new major regulations and 172 major policy rules finalized or proposed in its first 22 months.