Dip into federal reserves to lower gas prices

As we all know, gas prices here in the U.S. have been rising steadily, and it appears as though they will continue to do just that as we head toward the summer season. But why are they rising this early in the year, and what can we do about it?

Iran has a lot to do with recent high gas prices. Any of us who have been keeping up with the news in 2012 know that the U.S., along with the European Union and other U.N. nations, is imposing sanctions on Iran in hopes of averting the progress of their nuclear program.

According to Jacey Fortin of the International Business Times, “Multilateral sanctions on Iranian crude will raise fuel prices worldwide, and the situation isn’t likely to reverse course anytime soon.”

These sanctions are limiting business transactions with Iran, including purchases of oil. As the U.S. and other countries seek to limit the amount of oil purchased from Iran, new oil resources must be found in order to stifle the increase in fuel prices.

So where can America find oil to make up for this loss? Well, it seems as though the only way to keep prices from reaching close to five dollars per gallon this year is to dip into our own fuel reserves.

This would not be the first time our nation has done this, and it has proven to work in the past. According to Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, “The first President Bush, President Clinton, the second President Bush and President Obama have each released the strategic petroleum reserve, and each time it has been released, it lowered the price of oil from 8 to 33 percent, so we know that it works.”

With that being said, there is something that we all can do to help ease our wallets as gas prices soar. Of course, things such as carpooling, limiting driving time and even investing in hybrid or electric vehicles can help us each individually.

However, if we take the time to write and ask our lawmakers to get behind legislation that supports tapping into our petroleum reserves, we could effect change at a broader level. So, as we approach elections this season, let’s consider taking a break from the politics and put some pressure on our legislators to do just that; legislate instead of playing the political game.