WASHINGTON, D.C. – American families are struggling with high gas prices, even as oil companies rake in record profits.
One way provide relief for families would be to release a small amount of oil from the 98 percent full Strategic Petroleum Reserve. President George H. W. Bush dipped into the Reserve to stabilize prices during the run-up to Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and President George Bush did so again in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The oil sold from the reserve in both cases helped stabilize oil markets and lower gas prices.
A forthcoming analysis of these two releases by the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that, in the 100 days after each release, American families enjoyed significant savings on their gasoline bills. These savings amounted to $65 per household after the 1991 Desert Storm release, and $125 per household after the Hurricane Katrina release in 2008 dollars.
Clearly many other factors intervened that may have caused changes in gasoline and oil prices in the winter of 1991 and the fall of 2005, but the release of a relatively modest amount of oil from the SPR contributed in large part to the drop in oil prices, the moderation of gasoline prices, and the savings that American families enjoyed.
Read more benefits of releasing a small amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves here.
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