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Congress votes to stop filling oil reserve
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper), May 14, 2008
Posted: May 22nd, 2008

The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly ... to temporarily stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a response to public anger over rising oil prices as the average price of regular unleaded gasoline nationwide hit a new high of $3.73 per gallon. The legislation would halt shipments for the rest of the year of roughly 70,000 barrels a day into the reserve, a system of four underground salt domes on the Gulf Coast run by the Energy Department. The reserve currently holds about 702 million barrels of oil, an amount equal to two months of U.S. imports. The government pays the market price for the light crude oil it stores in the reserve. Congress created the reserve two years after the 1973 Arab oil embargo as a way to prevent supply disruptions. Kevin Book, senior energy analyst for Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., noted that in the hour after the Senate passed the measure nearly unanimously the price of crude oil jumped by a dollar. Book said, "70,000 barrels is a rounding error. It is not material in an 85.7 million barrel per day market." Book added that it will take much more significant action ... for the markets to take notice. The Senate, by a 56-42 vote, defeated a Republican measure ... that would have opened Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and allowed states to drill off their shores.

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