Bush Weighs Tapping Strategic Oil Reserve - Yahoo! News

Bush Weighs Tapping Strategic Oil Reserve - Yahoo! News

President Bush, urging prayer for Gulf Coast communities "hit hard" Monday by Hurricane Katrina, weighed whether to release oil from petroleum reserves to help refiners, administration officials said.

"I want the folks there on our Gulf Coast to know that the federal government is prepared to help you when the storm passes," Bush said during a Medicare speech at an RV resort here. "In the meantime America will pray, pray for the health and the safety of all our citizens."

The storm already forced the shutdown of an estimated 1 million barrels of refining capacity along the nation's Gulf Coast.

Administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said Bush seemed likely to authorize a loan of some oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But details remained in flux and no decision was imminent, they said.

The expected move would be designed to give refineries in the area a temporary supply of crude oil to take the place of interrupted shipments from tankers or offshore oil platforms affected by the storm. It would not be intended to keep a lid on soaring gasoline prices.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One as the president flew from his Texas ranch to Arizona, said the Energy Department was still assessing the situation before making a recommendation on the reserve.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home