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Senator Pushes Gas Reserve

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Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the Democrats’ energy agenda will help lower the price of gas. But the oil industry says it will wind up hurting consumers. Chicago Public Radio’s Gabriel Spitzer reports.

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Durbin is proposing the government set aside an emergency supply of unleaded gas, diesel and jet fuel.

The government already holds a reserve of crude oil.

Durbin says a store of refined fuels could affect prices at the pump more quickly and directly.

The idea is getting push-back from the oil industry. Rayola Dougher is an American Petroleum Institute analyst.

DOUGHER: This kind of thing would be totally unmanageable, trying to keep hundreds of different kinds of fuels. And you have to turn them over too, they deteriorate after a certain amount of time. It just would be a very costly adventure, and it wouldn’t help consumers.

The fuel reserve is part of a package of energy bills Democrats plan to push in coming weeks.

Durbin says he’s optimistic that Congress will at least increase fuel-economy standards for cars.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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