March 16th, 2012
12:11 PM ET
The price of crude oil took a nosedive on Thursday after Reuters reported that President Obama and his British counterpart David Cameron had agreed to a release of strategic oil reserves that would take place within months.
The White House later denied that such an agreement exists, but did say that Obama and Cameron had discussed rising crude prices.
For the United States, such an agreement would mean tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a strategy that has been used only a handful of times since 1975, when the 727 million barrel safeguard against oil supply shocks was established.
What would the United States get out of the deal? Crude prices could fall, especially as speculators are driven from the market. A reduction in crude prices would translate to lower prices at the gasoline pump.
And, naturally, lower gasoline prices would be nice for Obama as Election Day approaches.
Should the administration release reserves, as some have suggested, it would have a difficult time arguing that the move was not politically motivated.
For the complete story from our friends at CNNMoney, click here.