Local Oil & Gas Experts Against Tapping Into Oil Reserve to Relieve Price at the Pump

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

Gas prices are climbing and people are getting worried so the Obama Administration is thinking of tapping in to the oil reserve but what do West Texans think about this? NewsWest9 went to talk to local oil experts to find out if this is done, how will this affect West Texas?

"The strategic petroleum reserve was set up to store oil in case of a war or some act of war. Something that interrupted our supply of imported oil from anywhere but specifically or primarily from the Persian Gulf Area," Oil and Gas Expert, Morris Burns, said.

Burns has been involved with the oil business for many years and he was the executive vice president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. He along with many others say that getting in to the oil reserve to lower gas prices is not a good idea.

"It was not set up to lower the gas prices when prices go up," Morris said.

"I think the reserve is there for a purpose and to tap it now would be a big mistake," Nelson Spear with the Spear Brothers Group in Midland, said.

But to many, this paints a similar picture in history as this was done before by a previous president and some say it didn't really help the price at the pump.

"Bill Clinton, when he was president, released some oil from the strategic oil reserve, it had a negligible effect on oil. On the New York Marketile Exchange it lowered price of oil about 50 cents a barrel for two or three days and then it went right back to where it was. Which had zero to none effect at the gas pump," Burns said.

And as far as West Texas goes, some think there are better ways to help the situation.

"The best thing the president can do for West Texas is ease the restrictions on drilling. We have lots of ability to drill offshore, we have the ability to drill in Alaska if the president was really serious. He really needs to change his paradigm and think outside the box," Spear said.

Getting our oil locally is what some representatives think will help the problem.

"Developing our own energy resources would create in this country, so it's really a win, win situation. One, we make ourselves less dependent on these other countries and secondly we create jobs here in our country. Tapping into strategic petroleum reserve doesn't do that for us," Congressman Randy Neugebauer, said.

NewsWest 9 called many oil companies on Thursday and all of them had a strong opinion against tapping into the reserve but they would not give us an on camera interview.