The White House has plans to trim the national debt, which includes selling off half of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile.
Bloomberg reports President Donald Trump’s first complete budget proposal, released in part on Monday, would raise $500 million in fiscal year 2018 by draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and as much $16.6 billion in oil sales over the next decade.
The proposal also seeks to boost government revenues by allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ending the practice of sharing oil royalties with states along the Gulf of Mexico and selling off government-owned electricity transmission lines in the West.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve currently holds 687.7 million barrels of oil in salt caverns and tanks at designated locations in Texas and Louisiana. That allows for quick distribution when natural disasters or unplanned accidents occur, the Energy Department says. The country dipped into the U.S. strategic oil reserve, during several recent disruptions such as the 2011 turmoil in Libya and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
It’s not clear if Trump wants to sell 50 percent of the strategic reserve from current levels, or on top of the reductions Congress recently agreed to.
Other analysts think now is the perfect time to unload some of the strategic oil reserve, especially because there are costs linked to maintaining the SPR complex .