U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said all options are being considered by the Obama administration regarding use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Salazar, speaking during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today, was questioned by Republicans and Democrats about the rise in gasoline prices and ways President Barack Obama is responding.
“All options are on the table,” Salazar told Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, in response to a question about whether the administration might release oil from emergency inventories.
The U.S. reserve holding 696 million barrels of oil, the world’s largest government-owned stockpile, was previously used in July and August, under an International Energy Agency effort to ease shortages of Middle East crude.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.8 cents to $3.716 a gallon yesterday from Feb. 26, according to AAA data. Prices, which have increased 43.8 cents so far this year, are 10 percent higher than a year ago. putting downward pressure on prices.’’
Crude oil for April delivery fell 54 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $108.02 a barrel at 11:44 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract yesterday slid 1.1 percent to $108.56, ending the longest upward move since January 2010.
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