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What You Should Know / July 12, 2011 -- To stem supply disruptions from Libya and to disrupt the grip of nonconsumer oil speculators, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the sale of 30 million barrels of crude as part of the International Energy Agency’s effort to release 60 million barrels into the global oil market. The sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as well as the suggestion from the Obama administration that more sales could be announced in the future, has already lowered the price of crude. As the Baker Institute’s Amy Myers Jaffe has noted, the release sends a “signal that should keep rampant speculation at bay.”

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