Lawmakers Want Bush to Stop Shipping Oil To Emergency Reserve

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Capitol Hill (AP) At a time of skyrocketing oil and gasoline prices, members of congress are telling president Bush now is not the time to top off the tank of the strategic petroleum reserve.

Both the House and Senate are expected today to approve, with bipartisan support, legislation directing Bush to temporarily halt the shipment of about 70,000 barrels of oil a day to the reserve.

Bush has refused to do so. He argues that this small amount of oil won't impact prices and that for security reasons he wants to increase the stockpile to its full capacity of 726 million barrels. It's now about 97 percent full, equal to nearly two months of oil
imports.

Many Democrats and Republicans say it doesn't make sense for the government to essentially purchase oil for a reserve that's nearly full when crude is costing more than $120 a barrel.