It seems that nothing quite brings out the silliness in politicians like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). As you undoubtedly have now heard, the United States and the International Energy Agency are coordinating to release 60 million barrels of oil to the world markets. The U.S. portion of the release will be 30 million barrels from the SPR.

As I noted recently, despite my general Democratic leanings, I think Democrats are the most out-of-touch party when it comes to energy policy. I think the root of the problem can be understood if one examines some of the core beliefs of the Democratic party about energy and the environment. One is that greenhouse gas emissions must be brought under control. This is different from the Republican platform, which doesn’t concern itself much with greenhouse gases. In support of this goal, Democrats support carbon trading markets and various ideas to put a price tag on carbon emissions; ideas in general which would help drive up the cost of burning fossil fuels. Higher prices will also lead to conservation, another tool in their arsenal for reining in carbon emissions.

But a second core belief of the Democratic party is that fuel prices hurt the average American, and therefore must be kept low. The fact that this goal is totally at odds with their goal of lower carbon emissions seem to be lost on many. A perfect example is provided by the latest essay from Joseph Romm. Romm was part of the Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration. Time Magazine has called him “The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger” — and I would agree with that assessment. When I think of Joe Romm I think of someone who spends the vast majority of his time fighting for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Almost every article he writes is on the theme of climate change.

Yet somehow this person who considers climate change one of the most serious threats to mankind thinks we need to make gasoline cheaper:

Why selling off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Photo by renjith krishnan.