June 8, 2011: OPEC Refuses to Boost Supply, America Must Reduce Depend & Prepare Strategic Reserve
Decision Shows OPEC Sets Market, Price and Has Been Hijacked by Iran, Venezuela
WASHINGTON (June 8, 2011) – With the stunning decision by the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries to not increase production despite continued high prices, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today said that the United States must engage in a full-scale OPEC oil independence campaign in the long-term to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and prepare to use the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the short-term if prices spike once again and threaten an already-teetering economy. The power of Iran and Venezuela to sway the decision of OPEC to keep prices high is further proof that America cannot continue the status quo on oil dependence, said Rep. Markey.
“OPEC, led by Iran and Venezuela, has snubbed its nose at the United States and the rest of the Western nations addicted to OPEC oil,” said Rep. Markey, who is the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. “This is a clear sign that America must engage in a long-term plan to break our ties to this OPEC-controlled market, and prepare to deploy America’s oil reserves now to head off an economic collapse from continued high gas prices.”
Rep. Markey has promoted the use of the completely full Strategic Petroleum Reserve, including introducing legislation (H.R. 1017) that would direct the Department of Energy to release at least 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR, and then replace it with refined product like gasoline or diesel fuel when prices are low to enhance the security and flexibility of the SPR.
Rep. Markey also proposed that a long-term plan for OPEC oil independence would include the continued increase of fuel efficiency standards, deployment of all-electric vehicles, increased production of oil alternatives like advanced biofuels, and a shift towards renewable energy.
“America only has two percent of the world’s oil reserves, and yet we use about a quarter of the world’s production. The only way we will break the bonds of OPEC’s control over oil prices is by reducing our demand by inventing and building better energy technologies and fuels,” said Rep. Markey. “We can’t allow our energy economy to be held hostage by Iran and Venezuela any longer.”