Yesterday I sent a letter to the President calling on him to stop depositing oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in order to make more crude oil available in the marketplace and lower prices at the gas pump.  With consumers already feeling the pinch of record gas prices, rising food costs, the implosion of the housing market in many areas, and the prospect of a recession, the federal government should not be taking actions that exacerbate any of these conditions.  Increasing the market supply of oil will reduce prices to put money back in the hands of American families at a time when they need it most.

The truth is, there is simply no reason to continue putting oil into the SPR.  The reserve is already 95 percent full, and adding to the stockpile at times of record-high crude oil prices costs the government, i.e. the American taxpayer, billions of dollars that could be used for other purposes, such as funding the economic stimulus package being put together by Congress.

I have already begun sharing my thoughts with my colleagues here in the House, and I plan to gain support for pressing the President on this.  I hope he will understand the potential benefits this move will have for American consumers – a possible reduction of as much as $0.25 per gallon of gasoline at the pump – and that he will agree to stop scheduled shipments of oil into the SPR.