There's clearly politics here, but the president certainly wants to seem like he is making some kind of global coordinated effort to bring down energy prices: The statesman.
And this has happened before: the International Energy Agency coordinated releases from emergency stockpiles in June 2011 (Libya), and after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990-91 and after hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.
And President Clinton ordered releases from the SPR in 1996 and 2000 (election years, ahem).
Which begs the question: why are oil prices over $100 to begin with? There's plenty of oil in the world, and demand is slack. The obvious answer: the Iran-Israel conflicting is putting some kind of disruption "premium" into oil.
What about energy stocks? Most traders I talked to believe that the release of any reserves would have a minimal effect on oil stocks.
Here's Wells Fargo: "Any withdrawal would likely impact near-term crude pricing, but have little, if any, effect on the longer-term outlook upon which crude producers are typically valued."
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