Obama’s decision to release oil from reserve is too little too late

I was puzzled by the recent news that PresBO has decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and several days later, my confusion remains despite reading a number of articles addressing this surprising move.  It occurs to me that it is just indicative of the current administration’s leadership strategy, which is frankly equal parts reactionary and political, but always misguided.

So here are my thoughts on this current attempt to ease the high prices Americans are facing at the gas pump…

First, this move is too little too late.  The fact is oil prices were at their peak around April of 2011 and have been steadily declining over the last few months so that prices were already easing slightly.  So why release this oil now?  Particularly when we are in the beginning days of hurricane season, and we realize how beneficial it is to have the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), for example, in the days following Hurricane Katrina, when supply was majorly disrupted.  So, instead of maintaining the SPR until a real crisis occurs, the President has opted to release 30 million barrels of the Reserve for seeming little more that earning political brownie points with the American people.

And not only is this move too little and too late in terms of when prices were at their highest, but the fact remains we have a serious supply and demand problem on our hands that will not be resolved with a release of an amount of oil that could only supply our nation’s needs for about 48 hours.  In fact, every administration has mishandled our energy independence issue for as far back as I can remember, and it just grows increasingly more critical.  Our country must stop kowtowing to the environmental lobby and start drilling into the reserves on our soil that we know to exist.  The recent unrest in the Middle East should be yet another reminder that we must become a nation of energy independence, and quite frankly, there is no sound reason we shouldn’t.

Of course PresBO will tell us that we just need to pour more dollars into “green energy” research and that will solve our energy dependence issues forever, likely in a prime-time speech, preempting your favorite television program.  In reality, the millions of dollars taxpayers have wasted on projects that some lobbyist in Washington has convinced one of their buddies at the White House is the next big thing have resulted in a nation still dependent on their gasoline burning cars, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.  Eventually a clever entrepreneur will surely invent an engine that is fueled by some clean burning, abundant, cheap resource.  But isn’t it more likely that will happen in the garage of their parent’s house, and not in some government controlled, taxpayer funded lab?

Until we have a President who is bold enough to make the decision that our nation’s economy and national security trumps the hocus pocus, alarmist propaganda that is the environmentalist’s tool kit and start increasing the supply of oil domestically, we are going to remain dependent on foreign oil and the whims of nation’s who despise the freedom and abundance that is so quintessentially American.

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