WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a bipartisan amendment to the Senate’s highway bill, the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act, to save taxpayer dollars and preserve oil reserves at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The Cassidy-Markey amendment has been included as part of a manager’s amendment that the Senate will vote on in the coming days.
The amendment allows the Secretary of Energy the ability to sell SPR quantities of crude oil to raise $9 billion in a 10 year period with the flexibility to adjust sales based on market prices to maximize financial return to taxpayers and sell less oil from the reserve.
“America is blessed with an abundance of oil. Taxpayers invested in an emergency oil stockpile, if some must be sold to build new bridges and better roads, then it should be sold at the highest price possible to get the best deal for taxpayers,” said Sen. Cassidy.
“Our nation’s oil stockpile is supposed to be there to protect American consumers and our security in the event of an emergency not to be used as a political piggybank,” said Sen. Markey. “We should ensure that we don’t buy high and sell low when it comes to oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We should buy and sell oil from our strategic reserve strategically to get the best deal for taxpayers and drive down prices for consumers and that is what the Cassidy-Markey amendment would guarantee. I thank Senator Cassidy for his bipartisan partnership on this amendment.”
The SPR headquarters is located in Harahan, Louisiana and holds the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world.