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Trump administration proposes selling off US gasoline reserve

Washington — The Trump administration Monday again proposed selling off the 1 million barrel Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve, calling it unnecessary and costly to operate.

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Podcast: What chance Permian becoming the poster child for US shale?

In a proposed fiscal 2019 budget President Donald Trump sent to Congress Monday, the administration proposes to "disestablish" the gasoline reserve.

"The [gasoline reserve] has not been utilized and has issues surrounding cost efficiency and operational functionality," the budget states.

The Obama Administration set up the reserve following gasoline shortages caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It currently holds 700,000 barrels in New York Harbor, 200,000 barrels in Boston and 100,000 barrels in South Portland, Maine.

Congress is unlikely to enact the budget, as it crafts federal spending on its own, but the proposal serves as a guide for the administration's policy priorities in the coming year.

The budget requests $11.3 billion for the Interior Department, the agency which manages oil and gas drilling on federal land and waters, a $2.2 billion, or 16%, decrease from the 2017 enacted level.

It also requests $29 billion for the Department of Energy, a roughly 3% decrease, and $5.4 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a $2.8 billion, or 34%, decrease from fiscal 2017.

--Brian Scheid, brian.scheid@spglobal.com