ATA Asks for Oil Release from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

American Trucking Associations asked President Bush in a letter this week to help “burst the bubble in the crude oil market” by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

ATA President Bill Graves argued in a letter to Bush that oil markets are not just reflecting supply and demand concerns. Markets are out of adjustment, Graves said, because “many hedge funds drive up the price of crude based on speculation. We need something to break that chain, and an SPR release could do it.”

With the average price of U.S. diesel fuel around $4 a gallon, ATA has launched a campaign to offer proposals to the executive branch to ease the pain generated by the price surge.

ATA also made suggestions to the Departments of Justice, Energy, Transportation and Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama would consider tapping the SPR to bring down prices, while recognizing that such a move is normally meant to aid in the case of an acute supply disruption, one of his advisers told the Associated Press Thursday.

Diesel’s most recent record, the fourth straight, was $3.974 a gallon following surging crude oil prices.