Lawmakers applaud decision to tap petroleum reserve

Lawmakers from New York are pleased with President Barack Obama's decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Gas prices across New York reached well over $4 per gallon earlier this year but have fallen in recent weeks. But prices still remain about 35 percent higher than this time last year.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, says the drawdown of some 30 million barrels will help stabilize gasoline prices.

Gillibrand says tapping the petroleum reserve will provide "crucial relief to families" in the North Country and across the state.

According to the senator, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at a historically high level, registering at about 727 million barrels. In 2005, then-President George W. Bush tapped the reserve following Hurricane Katrina, triggering a 9 percent drop in gasoline prices.

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says Obama acted responsibly by releasing oil from U.S. reserves.

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