Energy Department Eyes Regional Gas Reserves
“In another presidential foray into territory once reserved for Congress, President Obama’s Department of Energy is exploring setting up sites to store reserves of gasoline in various places around the country to provide backup when major storms and other emergencies cut off access to local fuel supplies,” the Washington Times reports.
“Citing long lines at gasoline stations in New York and New Jersey in 2012 after Superstorm Sandy flooded local refineries on the coast, the department this month established the first such reserves, containing 1 million barrels of gasoline to serve the Northeast region. To pay for it, the administration used about half of the nearly $500 million it raised through an unusual test sale of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve this spring.”
“While the Northeast gasoline venture raised some questions and eyebrows on Capitol Hill, congressional Republicans did not try to block it and have expressed little opposition to the administration’s broader plans. The apparent acquiescence led a former George W. Bush administration official who was in charge of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lament that major changes are occurring with “little public discussion or policy debate” in a key national security program.”