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Page added on February 28, 2008

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DOE Not Backing Down On Strategic Reserve Fill

The Bush administration yesterday defended its policy to withdraw oil from a tight market to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve while at the same time asking other countries to boost oil production.

Katharine Fredriksen, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Energy Department’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, said taking less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the 85 million barrels of crude consumed per day around the world for the SPR does not affect consumer prices.

“The modest fill rate does not put undue pressure on markets,” Fredriksen told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She repeated that DOE had a legal obligation from the 2005 energy bill to continue to fill the reserve.

But Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said filling the reserve at prices of $100 per barrel was “nuts.” He has authored legislation to freeze DOE oil acquisitions for a year or until oil prices fall to $50 per barrel or less.


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