Clinton says he may still tap strategic oil supply

Tuesday, February 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Washington-AP) -- President Clinton says he may tap into the nation's supply of emergency oil if other methods don't reduce pump prices. Clinton made the comment today before leaving the White House for a political trip to Florida.

Several Northeast lawmakers have urged the administration to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and other officials say they don't intend to. They say the reserve is designed to ease supply disruptions, not to influence prices.

There is also concern that if the strategic reserve were tapped it would make it more difficult to convince OPEC oil producers to increase production during a March meeting. An industry analyst says the price at the pump is an average of a dollar-forty-seven, up 6 cents in the last two weeks.