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18

White House Pinions On Oil Reserve

The White House announced that it won't sell crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help boost available oil supplies and lower prices, while Congress is ready to take on the Bush administration and will try to suspend oil deliveries to the stockpile

The White House announced that it won't sell crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help boost available oil supplies and lower prices, while Congress is ready to take on the Bush administration and will try to suspend oil deliveries to the stockpile.

The Energy Department will go forward with its plan to accept bids this week from oil companies to supply millions of barrels of additional crude to the stockpile, which now holds about 703 million barrels of emergency oil at four underground storage sites in Texas and Louisiana. The stockpile can hold up to 727 million barrels of crude.

However, both the Senate and House of Representatives are expected to vote Tuesday on putting the brakes on future oil shipments to the reserve.

A Senate Democratic proposal, which has the support of many Republicans, would suspend oil deliveries to the stockpile until the price of crude fell to below $75 a barrel.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats and Republicans in the House have agreed to approve a similar proposal, which she said could reduce gasoline prices by 5 to 24 cents a gallon.

The national retail price for gasoline reached a record $3.72 a gallon on Monday, after soaring 10.9 cents over the last week, the Energy Department said.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the New Mexico Democrat who chairs the Senate's energy committee, said suspending reserve shipments "will have a modest impact on the price of oil perhaps."

Bingaman added that stopping deliveries to the oil stockpile "is not going to put our national security in jeopardy" with 97 percent of the reserve already filled.