Report: Obama might open oil reserves

President Obama will consider releasing oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve if increased sanctions on Iran cause costs to rise, according to a report on Friday.

Officials have a plan ready if gasoline prices do not fall after Sept. 3, according to Reuters. Historically, gas prices drop after the Labor Day holiday.

{mosads}Obama signed into law a broad range of new sanctions against Iran’s energy, shipping and insurance sectors last week. The new sanctions are intended to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

Over the past month, national gas prices have gone up nearly 30 cents, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, to $3.71. Prices a year ago averaged $3.58, according to the report. 

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) last month asked Obama to signal his willingness to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a fail-safe against Iran’s ability to manipulate oil prices.

Republicans, who support a stronger response to Iran, responded critically to Obama’s last release of oil reserves, blasting him for draining emergency oil reserves rather than supporting long-term projects to tap the U.S. oil supply.

Reuters, citing anonymous sources, did not have information about the size of the possible release and said officials maintain a decision has not been made yet on any release.


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