Items of Note

Wildfire Suppression and Selling Oil

During the “energy crisis” of 1973, the Arab countries cut off the supply of oil to the U.S. (among other nations) for perceived support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. As part of the response, the U.S. created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep a stock of oil on hand should anything like that happen again. 

What has this got to do with the budget? Well some insofar as periodically someone sees all that oil sitting there doing not much of anything and decides we can sell some for some ready cash. Well, that’s what they did in the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2018. Again, this is not that all that surprising or remarkable.

The reason to even mention it is that it was put in title V of the “Wildfire Suppression Funding and Forest Management Act“, which itself was a division of the Consolidated Appropriation Act, and which set up the new wildfire suppression adjustment for the discretionary spending limits. What has selling oil from the SPR got to do with a spending adjustment, or wildfire suppression, or really anything to do with an appropriation Act at all?

Nothing. It’s simply a small example of how much of mess things become just on a day to day basis of getting things accomplished legislatively.