Legislators criticize proposed SPR release

A group of top Republican senators objected to the proposed release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a letter to President Barack Obama, according to The Hill.

The White House has regularly suggested the possibility of using the SPR to help push down the high current oil prices over the past few months.

Headed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the group insisted that the SPR should be treated as a last resort rather than using it to respond to normal spikes in the market.

"The SPR was created for use only in emergencies to safeguard our economy and national security against severe oil supply disruptions, not as a mechanism to control the price at the pump," the letter states.

The legislators also called on Obama to issue a plan for refilling the SPR to the levels seen before last year's coordinated release.

Reuters reports, though, that the release did have at least one positive impact, as it allowed the company that maintains the salt caverns where the reserve is stored to more aggressively combat creep, which can cost as much as 2 million barrels of capacity per year.

Imports for the SPR are tracked at PennEnergy's Research area.

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