Good Question: The government has millions of barrels of oil stored, why don't they release them?

Soaring gas prices have many wondering just how high a gallon of gas will actually go?

Good Question-Robert in Harrodsburg-The government has millions of barrels of oil stored, why don't they release them?

Unrest in the Middle East and soaring gas prices.

Its a combination many fear will only get worse, including the White House.

" I think there is no one who doubts the uncertainty in the Middle East right now has caused this tremendous increase in the last couple of weeks," said White House Chief of Staff William Daley.

The price of oil is now at $107 a barrel.

The average price of regular gas has jumped 33 cents in the last two weeks, its the second largest price increase over a two week span on record.

Is that enough to force the government to tap into the federal oil reserve?

"It is something that only is done and has been done in very rare occasions. There's a bunch of factors that have to be looked at," said Daley.

The U.S. stored supply of oil, called the Strategic Petroleum Reserve contains 727 million barrels, that's enough to keep the nation powered for a couple of months.

The government tapped the reserves in 2005 releasing 30 million barrels after Hurricane Katrina.

Oil prices dropped then nearly four percent.

Most recently it was opened again in September 2008 in response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

But some say economists say the oil reserves should only be touched in true emergencies, which they say this is not.

"I think it is premature to open up the strategic petroleum reserve. I don't think it is going to make a big difference with respect to prices, and at this point we can digest these prices," said Mark Zandi with Moody's Analytics.

By law the President does not need Congressional approval to open the reserves in case of supply interruption.

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