What's the strategic petroleum reserve?

Previously published Slate articles made new.
Aug. 31 2005 11:31 AM

What's the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

And where do they keep it?

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According to news reports, the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve will soon be opened to help mitigate the decline in oil production in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In 2002, Brendan I. Koerner explained that the oil reserves are kept in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. "Should things get hairy, energy-wise … the president alone has the authority to order a 'drawdown' of the reserve, at an estimated rate of 4.1 million barrels per day," Koerner writes.