Pingree, Michaud call for strategic oil release to drive down gas prices

Posted March 09, 2011, at 11:53 a.m.
Last modified March 09, 2011, at 3:49 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is calling on President Barack Obama to release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve as a way to help slow the skyrocketing prices of oil products.

Pingree, a Democrat, says rising gas and oil prices are creating a crisis for Maine families and slowing economic growth.

Pingree says speculation by the big oil companies and turmoil in the Middle East are driving up prices of gas and heating oil.

She says the last three presidents have all released oil from the reserve and prices went down. She says oil prices could go down by as much as a third.

Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, has signed onto a letter also urging Obama to release oil from the reserve.