Perry bucks Trump, backs strategic oil reserves

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is shrugging off the White House’s call for draining off the nation’s strategic oil reserves along the Gulf Coast.

During a news conference at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Washington headquarters Friday, Perry said massive storms that battered the Gulf Coast in recent weeks show the United States needs the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, four underground caverns dotting Texas and Louisiana that hold up to 700 million barrels of crude.

President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal calls for selling half the SPR to raise more than $16 billion.

“I didn’t write that budget. The president brought me in not to agree with him on everything,” Perry said. “I’m a big believer that it makes sense for us to have a Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”

Trump, he suggested, is interested in learning whether there’s a more efficient way to run the SPR, but Perry said there was no effort to completely get rid of the stockpiles.