Yes, “drill baby drill” will not increase the supply of oil this month, but if we had been drilling baby drilling the past two and one-half years, instead of stifling production almost everywhere, we would not need to be releasing our strategic petroleum reserves. Via AP:
The Obama administration has decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a broader international effort to pump more 60 million barrels onto the world market over the next month.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the release of oil is a response to oil supply disruptions caused by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, including Libya.
The administration said the uprising in Libya has resulted in a loss of about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day. The release comes as the United States approaches a period of high energy use in July and August.
High oil prices have increased the cost of gasoline, contributing to an economic slowdown and putting increased political pressure on President Barack Obama.
Make not mistake about it, this is not just a reaction to the current market conditions, it is Obama’s policy to use the strategic petroleum reserves as a market cushion rather than extensive new drilling, as outlined during the 2008 campaign:
Senator Barack Obama altered his position on Monday to call for tapping the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gasoline prices as he outlined an energy plan that contrasts with Senator John McCain’s greater emphasis on expanded offshore drilling and coal and nuclear technology.
In a speech here and in a new advertisement, Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, also sought to portray his Republican rival, Mr. McCain, as “in the pocket” of oil giants that are profiting from gasoline priced at more than $4 a gallon. And in his speech, Mr. Obama called for a windfall profits tax on oil companies to finance rebates for Americans.
While Obama proposed some new “limited” offshore drilling (video at 4:40), it was contingent on a comprehensive energy plan for so called alternative energy: