House Dems keep pressure on Obama for oil release

Rep. Edward Markey (Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, led the effort, and signers include prominent liberal members such as Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and George Miller (D-Calif.). They are respectively the ranking Democrats on the Budget, Financial Services and Education and Workforce Committees.

Gasoline prices have risen sharply this year but eased somewhat over the last week. The nationwide average for regular gasoline is currently $3.90 per gallon, according to AAA, which uses data from the Oil Price Information Service.

White House officials say a release from the SPR is an option on the table.

Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy discussed global oil markets on Thursday, but White House press secretary Jay Carney would not say whether they discussed potential releases from emergency stockpiles.