Van Hollen: Obama should release oil reserves to bring down gas prices

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Sunday that President Obama should release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease rising gas prices.

"I would say with respect to price, we've seen a supply disruption as a result of Libya, which has helped feed a speculative bubble. And the only way to address that in the very short term is to consider releasing some of the oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve," Van Hollen said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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Obama said in a March news conference that he would consider releasing some of the reserves if there was a serious disruption to supply. The Strategic Petroleum Reserves contain 726.6 million barrels of oil, according to the Energy Department.

"The one thing we can do now and quickly to pop the bubble would be to take - release some of the oil" Van Hollen said. "And you get a good price for the American tax-payer, too."

The average national price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.94, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge report.

But Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGoonies, Pokemon and ‘transsexual shake’ speak to raucous scene at convention GOP passes rules vote over outcry from Trump opponents Overnight Healthcare: Feds defend ObamaCare's affordability MORE (R-Wyo.), who appeared with Van Hollen, disagreed.

"The strategic reserve has oil in it basically for about 66 days of how much we use in this country. It's there for specific emergencies, and this isn't it," he said.

"Prices are up now because there is increased global demand for oil. The dollar is terribly weak right now internationally, and it's because of the economic policies of this administration and our incredible debt, and also there is turmoil in the Middle East, which is why we need to become more American energy dependent as opposed to foreign energy dependent."


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