Obama reverses policy on tapping emergency oil reserves

By Eliza

Jun 23, 2011 10:02am

ABC News' Ann Compton (@AnnCompton) reports:

Worrying about the high-demand summer driving season, President Obama has agreed to join other oil-producing nations to release some strategic reserves into the global oil markets. 

Energy Secretary Steven Chu says in a statement, “We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery,” and he signaled there might be more tapping of the oil reserves later.

The US will release 30 million barrels and other members of the International Energy Agency will match that with another 30 million.

Gas prices in the US had begun to come down from the spike that took them well over $4 a gallon for gasoline, but the summer demand has the Obama administration worried. A Department of Energy press release warns, “As the United States enters the months of July and August, when demand is typically highest, prices remain significantly higher than they were prior to the start of the unrest in Libya.”

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