An anti-fossil fuel senator from Massachusetts urged President Donald Trump Wednesday to open U.S. oil reserves to limit the affects Tropical Storm Harvey is having on gas prices.
Democratic Sen. Ed Markey is pushing the president to flood the energy market with crude so oil prices will drop below where they were before Harvey made landfall in Texas. The storm, which began as a Category 4 hurricane but was later downgraded, has wreaked havoc on the country’s oil market and caused billions of dollars in losses.
“An immediate release of gasoline or crude oil, if also warranted, from the SPR would help protect consumers from price spikes at the pump and tame any market speculation that could be unduly affecting markets and harming consumers,” Markey wrote in his letter to Trump.
Harvey has so far knocked out nearly 3 million barrels of oil per day, totaling a fifth of the U.S. oil refining capacity and severely limiting the country’s natural gas production. Markey cited the price increase as one of the reasons for opening the strategic petroleum reserve. However, the senator has a reputation as an anti-oil firebrand.
Markey has been a proponent of climate policies targeting fossil fuel production for elimination. He demanded 100 energy and free market groups in 2015 disclose their funding of climate science.
He called on ExxonMobil to answer questions about the company’s funding of groups skeptical of man-made global warming and opposed to federal environmental regulations. The Massachusetts Democrat has also pulled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from environmental groups.
He pulled in nearly a half-a-million dollars in donations from various anti-fossil fuel groups, according to a report last year from the Opensecrets.org. Whitehouse also raked in $180,000 from similar groups. Both senators signed their names to a report last year from environmentalist group EarthJustice alleging that EPA’s critics are in cahoots with the fossil fuel industry.
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