18 months ago I wrote with praise for President Bush as he made clear that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was intended to protect against the sudden shocks of war. It appears I may have spoken too soon:
President Bush will order the Department of Energy to stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Oil Reserve “in order to get more fuel on the market and help reduce rising gasoline prices.”
In September 2000, then-Gov. George W. Bush criticized President Clinton for proposing to use the strategic oil reserve in response to high prices:
The Strategic Reserve is an insurance policy meant for a sudden disruption of our energy supply or for war. Strategic Reserve should not be used as an attempt to drive down oil prices right before an election. It should not be used for short-term political gain at the cost of long-term national security.
Today, Bush did precisely what he criticized President Clinton for five-and-a-half years ago.