Jul 13, 2018

Report: Trump weighs tapping into emergency oil reserve

Cows groupedwhile black pump jack works beside them on gas-oil well. Photo Susan Vineyard/Getty Images

The Trump administration is weighing whether to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to moderate gasoline prices ahead of the midterm elections, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Why it matters: The move would represent a remarkable use of the stockpile for political purposes, given that there's currently no crude oil supply shortage or emergency. And gasoline prices, while higher than in recent years, remain well below levels routinely seen in periods between 2010 and 2014, when they were frequently far in excess of $3 per gallon and at times neared $4.

By the numbers: The nationwide average gasoline price is currently $2.89 per gallon, compared to $2.26 at this time a year ago, according to AAA.

  • Per Bloomberg, no decisions have been made, but options under review envision a release of up to 30 million barrels, or even more if coordinated with other nations. The reserve currently holds around 660 million barrels of oil.

Quick history: "The oil stockpile, which was created in the 1970s after the Arab oil embargo sent prices skyrocketing and forced Americans to ration gasoline, is mainly meant to be used in emergencies. But it has been tapped in the past to bring down domestic gasoline prices, such as by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, as well as to fund unrelated domestic legislation," Bloomberg reports.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. Sunday night, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,273,990 — Total deaths: 69,444 — Total recoveries: 260,247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 337,310 — Total deaths: 9,634 — Total recoveries: 17,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the Trump's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy