Colorado’s junior U.S. Senator Ken “Silly Sally” Salazar added another layer of nonsense to his no-energy policy recently when he suggested releasing 70 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
To be fair — and proving once again that “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” — there is some merit to releasing oil from the SPR when prices are high and replenishing those supplies when prices recede. But that’s about as close as Silly Sally gets to a bright idea.
A release would certainly increase domestic supplies temporarily, but remember that oil trades in a world market which consumes some 85 million barrels per day. The problem with releasing 1 to 4 million barrels of oil per day from the SPD is that it would not be sustainable — unless backed up with tangible evidence that the U.S. or others are serious about increasing production to sustain that supply in the future.
The SPR contains 700 million barrels of oil — or enough to replace all foreign imports for 58 days. During Desert Storm in 1990-91, the U.S. released 21 million barrels to cushion against the disruption of oil supplies from the Persian Gulf. After Hurricane Katrina, 11 million barrels were released into the market place. Contrast that to the 70 million barrels that Silly Sally wants us to release now.
If only Silly Sally were as gung-ho about developing domestic petroleum from new sources right here at home in the Outer Continental Shelf, in Alaska or in the Green River Basin as he is about selling off our reserves, his suggestion might be taken seriously.
As it stands, his energy policy could just as easily come from a teenager who doesn’t want to get a summer job and prefers to finance his goofing off by spending down the savings account that his grandmother left for him.
Again, however, Silly Sally refuses to seriously consider a comprehensive energy policy that includes developing existing sources of petroleum, moving forward with development of new petroleum sources such as oil shale, utilizing Colorado’s vast supplies of natural gas in a responsible manner, and doing all of that to build a bridge to a time when renewable sources or new technology provide an viable alternative.
Good grief, even Paris Hilton has a better energy policy than Ken Salazar!