Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, appearing to run out of space to contain a historic supply glut that has hammered prices, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
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The White House plan to trim the national debt includes selling off half of the nation's emergency oil stockpile, part of a broad series of changes proposed by President Donald Trump to the federal government's role in energy markets. Trump's first complete budget proposal, released in part Monday, would raise $500 million in fiscal year 2018 by draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and as much $16.6 billion in oil sales over the next decade.Laws enacted in 2015 and 2016 call for the sale of nearly 190 million barrels of oil from the reserve between 2017 and 2025 to raise money for unrelated government programs. Those sales would cut the reserve by about 27 percent. The budget summary released Monday doesn't indicate the scope or timing of potential oil reserve sales or whether a $2 billion program to modernize the stockpile's infrastructure would be affected.Under a 2006 law, four Gulf states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas – now claim 37.5 percent of the royalties that oil and gas companies send the federal government in exchange for drilling rights and production on some Gulf of Mexico leases.Trump's move echoes Obama's attempt to divert some of those royalty payments.
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