Durbin: Time To Open Strategic Oil Reserve

DARIEN, Ill. (WBBM) — Memorial Day is behind us and gas prices are still rising, and now, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says it’s time to take the drastic step of dipping into the strategic oil reserve.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mary Francis Bragiel reports, with gasoline prices jumping as much as 20 cents in one day, Durbin says President Barack Obama has no choice but to open the strategic oil reserve, because oil companies are not responsive to consumer needs.

“We’ve called on the president to do that. Most presidents don’t want to, and this president doesn’t want to. They want to save it for a true national emergency – like, God forbid, a Middle East war, or whatever it happens to be,” Durbin said. “But I’m worried.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

Durbin is worried because he believes the current state of the economy could linger for quite a while.

Analysts say Chicago currently has the most expensive gasoline prices of any major city, due to refinery problems.

  • FR

    We need a much higher gasoline tax with a corresponding decrease in the income tax. That is the best way to make people stop buying big SUVs that they don’t need and stop us from shoveling money to oil countries. Otherwise require big SUVs to have truck license plate with the restrictions of not using the left lane and not driving on boulevards, after all, they are heavy vehicles.

    • Roberta Waker

      And just how do YOU know who needs an SUV and who doesn’t? Maybe we should put extra taxes on small cars because they are so cheap to run. Makes about as much sense. I have several friends that drive SUVs or vans because they transport goods, groceries, and seniors. Why not drill in the Bakken Shale where there’s enough oil for 2,000+ years in our own back yard? We need to tax the oil companies and the traders who drive the cost of crude up. More taxes are NOT the solution unless it’s on the oil companies.

    • Czechbikr

      Typical Democrat telling people what they need and promoting more taxes as the cure to the common cold. Move to Sweden if you don’t like the capitalistic system.

    • srdib

      yeah, great. make the prices even higher. i am on a fixed income, cant afford to buy gas. my little cavalier has sat for two days. its not a big suv, why should i pay more in taxes you moron? the oil company and commodity traders are the ones making money, along with the politicians who are major share holders. how about we get a break for a change, instead of stupid people asking for higher taxes????

    • Drew

      At last, common sense prevails. Thank-you, FR.

  • Shar

    Durbin should be ashamed of being so ill-informed. There is not a shortage of oil in this world. The price of oil would probably be $20-$30 less a barrel if it wasn’t for speculation, which we have done nothing to curb. Also, refinery issues would not be eased by tapping the Strategic Oil Reserves. I’m glad Obama is not listening to this idiot.

    • Jim

      You and “s risch” nailed it. Gas prices go up 20 or 30 cents at a time and drop at most 5 cents so “gas stations can makeup their profits”. This is a total scam and if all gas stations in the area hold their prices together we have price fixing (which is illegal).

  • Love my Suv

    @ Fr -If i want a suv its my choice so mind your own business. Ill be nice and safe driving my big suv if i ever get in a accident. BTW, when you get creamed and possibly killed while your driving your little car ill look back and say told you so. Too many drunk drivers and idiotic drivers on the road nowadays.

  • A

    The strategic reserve is for a true emergency, like if the country can’t obtain enough oil at all. If we drain the reserve now, what will we do then? Durbin needs to buy gas in other countries, then he will appreciate how “low” our prices are.

    • Roberta Waker

      Maybe we should stop EXPORTING our oil and keep it for US. We need to drill in the Bakken Shale, which was already approved by Pres. Bush. Drilling here will make us crude oil-independent by pumping enough crude for 2,000+ years.

  • s risch

    Isn’t it so coincidental that year after year refiners seem to choose the beginning of the summer driving season to perform maintenence? (thus causing gasoline prices to rise)

    Oil prices have dropped from around $127 per bbl down to below $100 and gasoline prices have barely budged. Instead of opening the spigot on our oil reserves start enforcing price fixing laws.

    • srdib

      we are sheep being led to slaughter. none of these politicos care about the average Joe. we are being bled at every turn. food, gas, electric, stupid excuses shoved down our throats and there is nothing we can do.

  • Dan

    Why doesn’t this “NIT-WIT” LEFTY go tell POTUS NONE of your plans are working!

  • southside

    Durbin is an idiot. Sometimes he makes Pat Quinn sound intelligent. It is the STRATEGIC OIL RESERVE, called that for a reason. We need to vote Durbin out in 2014.

  • makairog

    the people of the US deserve a better representation than this one democratic senator who speaks with his tongue disconnected from reality and only for selfserving reasons. the strategic oil reserve if opened up will not last more than a month and a half at the current rate of use, longer if the rate of use is decreased but then, when it is gone – what. he is just showing one of the problems so common among our politicians.

  • bob

    Another stupid idea from Durbin. Clinton opened the reserves to help Gore get elected and it only lowered the prices 25 cents. Durbin will do anything to get on TV or in the news. He usually crawls out from under his rock when some disaster happens then when he’s done getting what he wants, you never hear from him again.

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