Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, August 17, 2012

U.S. faces stiff opposition to oil release plans

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama faced stiff resistance to the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves to damp down prices on Friday, with key Asian allies and the head of the West's energy agency saying there was no cause for action.

A day after Reuters reported that the White House was "dusting off" plans for potentially tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the executive director of the International Energy Agency, Maria van der Hoeven, was blunt in her assessment: "There is no reason for a release."

The IEA "bases our actions on data and reality. The market is sufficiently supplied," she told reporters after a speech in Houston. She said she had not discussed a potential release with members of the Paris-based IEA, which is charged with coordinating use of the world's government-held stocks.

Key members of the IEA offered varied views, reflecting a divide between those who have tended to favor a more liberal use of the world's government-held stocks as a means to influence prices, and aid economic growth, and those who believe they should be strictly reserved for supply emergencies. Read More