Preview: Congress Buys Oil High, Sells It Low–Terrible Idea!

This is a preview. The full post is available now on my Forbes blog. The full version will be posted on this website at 11:00 p.m. CDT on Thursday, October 29.

Buy high, sell low. The definition of stupid.

That’s what Congress is considering as it eyes selling oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to pay for certain projects in its latest spending plan.

The last time the U.S. bought oil for the SPR in 2000 through 2005, oil prices were rising (Figure 1). Now Congress wants to sell oil when prices are the lowest in a decade.

Chart_SPR & WTI 0ct 2015

Figure 1. U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve stocks and WTI crude oil price in October 2015 dollars per barrel.
Source: EIA, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis & Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

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