Publications: Notes at the Margin

Strategic Stocks: An Anachronism, Particularly in the United States (June 13, 2016)


In contrast to its "no business as usual," Congress has succeeded remarkably well in passing legislation mandating sales from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Liquidating the SPR over the next few years, though, could influence price fluctuations during that time. The experience of other commodity markets warns that these sales could be disruptive. Those hoping for prices above $70 per barrel may be disappointed if Washington manages the sales well and maximizes returns for taxpayers. In this report, we summarize the planned sales and then explain why Congress should speed this process up and dispose of all the SPR oil.


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