Crude oil prices are bounding into record high territory, again, and gasoline prices are rising in Iowa and nationwide. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says there’s renewed talk of opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, which he says is usually an action that’s reserved for emergencies, not just when prices become unreasonably high.Grassley says some refineries have been shut down in the southern U.S. due to the recent hurricanes. He says when natural disasters strike, those reserves should be used up. However, Grassley says the move likely will -not- bring much price relief at the pump. He says the reserves were opened four years ago during the Clinton administration. The opening of the reserves only lowered gas prices a few pennies a gallon. Grassley says most people want gas prices in the neighborhood of a dollar-40 to a dollar-60 a gallon. The current average in Iowa is a dollar-86, compared to a dollar-51 a year ago. The national average is a dollar-90, versus a dollar-60 a year ago. Grassley says crude oil prices topped 49-dollars a barrel in the U.S. yesterday for the first time, while the price went over 50-dollars a barrel this morning on Asian markets. Grassley says traders are reacting to several things — primarily the hurricane damage in the U.S. and the unrest in the lands of key oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Nigeria.
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