Rep. Hoyer skeptical on tapping petroleum reserve

Hoyer told an audience at an event sponsored by Third Way, a left-of-center think tank, that unlike in the 1970s, the market now is being driven by demand from emerging powers like China and India. These market entrants make tapping the SPR less effective on prices, he argued.

Hoyer’s position puts him at odds with liberals in his own party. Last Wednesday, Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) wrote to the White House asking that the SPR be tapped.

The minority leader said that discussions on SPR are under way and that he does agree rising gas prices are threatening the economy. He said that the bottom line is that in the short term, it is “very difficult” for Congress to do anything about gas prices.