Amendment seeks to stop diversion of oil to SPR

| 5/12/2008

With oil and gas prices at record levels, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND, has offered an amendment calling for a halt the oil deposits put underground in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“Right now, the Bush Administration is putting nearly 70,000 barrels of oil underground in the SPR every single day, which puts upward pressure on gas prices,” said Dorgan. “At a time when gas prices are nearing $4 a gallon and oil is over $120 per barrel, it makes no sense to be taking oil out of our supply chain, especially when the reserve is 97 percent full.”

In a press release announcing the amendment, Dorgan said he has broad bipartisan support for his plan to stop filling the SPR. In March, all 51 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus signed a letter Dorgan sent to President Bush calling on him to stop filling SPR. The Republican energy bill – S2973 – also includes language to stop filling SPR, and all three presidential hopefuls have voiced support for Dorgan’s effort.

“Taking a time-out on filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not a partisan issue. With American drivers suffering at the gas pump, it’s time for President Bush and the Department of Energy to join in this effort to put downward pressure on gas prices,” said Dorgan.

Dorgan offered his amendment in the Appropriations Committee’ mark-up of the FY 2008 Emergency Supplemental bill.