Editor, Times-Union:

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve should be kept at a minimum of 500 million barrels of oil at all times for such national emergencies related to war, natural disasters and OPEC embargos. The current Strategic Petroleum Reserve should be restocked up to 750 million barrels of oil or more. It should also be expanded out beyond the Gulf Coast to other regions of the U.S. in order to cut down on transportation costs and create a more strategically balanced distribution in case of natural disasters or attacks by terrorists or other nations. This distribution should be based on the PADD Map System (Petroleum Administration For Defense Districts). More refineries in areas outside of the PADD 3-Gulf Coast wil need to be built.

A second national reserve could be created and called the Market Petroleum Reserve which would be used to keep gas prices from hitting record highs and damaging the economy.

Both of the above initiatives should be a part of a Comprehensive Strategic Energy Independence Policy During National Emergencies that includes a good mix of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources along with establishing strategic reserves for such energy sources such as coal, gas, nuclear, solar, wind, hydrogen, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, etc.

This should be done as America diversifies its energy portfolio throughout this decade and beyond.

Alexander Houze