The White House's plan to sell off half the country's strategic stockpile of crude oil looks like a hasty decision to some analysts, but to others its an idea whose time has come.
The budget proposal released last Tuesday is projected to reduce the deficit by $16.6 billion over 10 years. It calls for drawing down the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve — the world's largest stockpile — over that period.
The reserve, which now totals 687.7 million barrels, was established after the 1970s oil crisis to ensure the U.S. economy would not suffer shocks in times of tight supply. It has only been used three times to counter import cutoffs or for foreign policy purposes.