Former Shell Oil CEO and founder of the non-profit Citizens for Affordable Energy John Hofmeister warned that this year, Americans are likely to pay the highest average price for gasoline in history, but cautioned that the U.S. could not rely on tapping the strategic oil reserve to solve the problem.
“In 2011, we paid the highest average price throughout the year in our history,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “2012 will beat that average price of 2011 by some factor. 2013 could get even worse. We really have to get on with fixing the problem.”
Hofmeister said that part of the problem is that China’s demand for oil is so high, which diminishes worldwide supply, but that the U.S. needs to do more to boost oil production and support cars with flex-fuel engines.
Though the Obama Administration tapped the strategic reserve last year, and recently indicated a willingness to do so again, Hofmeister cautioned that such an action would be both harmful to national security and unlikely to reduce the problem.
“You can't take the reserve down far enough without jeopardizing national security, and just a million or two million [gallons of oil] here or there, it's not going to make a big difference,” he said.