Obama Aims To Tap Oil Reserve To Curb Gas Prices

Sen. Barack Obama has proposed that the government sell 70 million barrels of oil from its strategic petroleum reserve to help reduce gasoline prices. He has previously opposed such a move. John McCain, meanwhile, again has called for offshore drilling.

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour with politics, and in just a minute the man who has succeeded in bringing the two presidential candidates together. I'm going to talk with megachurch pastor Rick Warren, author of the best-seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."

First, what the presidential candidates have been up to today. Both Barack Obama and John McCain were out talking about dependence on foreign oil.

At an event in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, Senator McCain criticized Obama's proposals.

JOHN MCCAIN: Senator Obama continues to oppose offshore drilling. He continues to oppose the use of nuclear power. These misguided policies would result in higher energy costs to American families and businesses and increased dependence on foreign oil. We're not going to achieve energy independence by inflating our tires.

BLOCK: That last line was a jab at Obama. The Democrat recently said one way Americans could save on gas is by making sure their tires are properly inflated.

Lansing, Michigan knows a little something about inflating tires, and that's where Senator Obama chose to give a speech today on energy.

BARACK OBAMA: We should sell 70 million barrels of oil from our strategic petroleum reserve for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks. Over the next five years, we should also lease more of the national petroleum reserve in Alaska for oil and gas production.

BLOCK: Obama has previously opposed tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve.

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