Katrina: President Bush to Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve

In response to the devastation of the Louisiana coast caused by Hurricane Katrina, President Bush has decided to release crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.

White House to tap reserves (CNN/Money)

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Wednesday that the White House plans on tapping the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help refiners hurt by Hurricane Katrina. Bodman said in interviews televised on CNN and other networks that officials have not determined the amount of crude oil that will be drawn from stockpiles, but that it would be a loan to refiners. “The SPR was put in place specifically for this kind of an event,” Bodman said in one interview. “We now have, in some instances, problems with getting crude to some refineries.”

The reserve is the government’s emergency stockpile of crude oil, which is overseen by the Energy Department. The oil reserves are estimated at more than 700 million barrels stored in underground caverns in Louisiana and Texas.

It’s unclear how this is going to help solve the problem of inadequate refinery capacity, which is the primary impact the storm will have on our energy supply.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    It’s unclear how this is going to help solve the problem of inadequate refinery capacity

    But it’s much more clear how this is intended to help Bush’s poll ratings, which I’ve suspected had more to do with gas prices than with any genuine disaffection against God’s gift to the White House.

    There is no disaster too great for this administration to take advantage of.

  2. Anderson says:

    Oh, and while I’ve never been an “war for oil” moonbat—ideology drives this White House as much as $$$, I think—you have to admit that this bit (via Digby) is just made for Michael Moore’s scrapbook:

    CORONADO, Calif. — President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country’s vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.

    The “noble cause” revealed! Because, you know, al-Qaeda was just about to take over Iraq before we sprang in!

  3. ATM says:

    Anderson you are an asshole.

    Anyway, some of the refinery capacity that we have that is operational is cutoff from crude oil. They need oil stocks to feed it.