The government is pumping 60,000 barrels of oil a day into a “rainy day” reserve, but with oil prices at a record high, many argue that it’s already raining. That includes the presidential candidates, all of whom want to at least stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve—and Hillary Clinton wants to release some of it. But President Bush maintains that the reserve is untouchable.
The reserve is intended for emergency supply interruptions like Hurricane Katrina, and experts are divided over whether it could even help now. “It’s an incredibly tight market when every drop matters,” said one. “But looking at the SPR to alleviate market pressure is only a short-term fix.” The government pays just $27.73 a barrel, others note, so stopping the flow could be a mistake.