I tried to find an article about the effectiveness of Clinton’s oil sell-off move in April of 1996. I couldn’t find anything difinitive. However, this chart indicates the move had no effect whatsoever on gas prices. I now return to my staunchly held free-market ideals.
I did find this blog post from Larry Kudlow, a respected economist who served under Reagan. He advocated in April that the federal government stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help prick the bubble. That seems to be prudent advice and not necessarily a violation of Adam Smith‘s principles. In fact, by ending the oil buy, the government would be returning the market to its originally free nature.
Soon, it will all be a moot point. According to this Department of Energy press release, the oil purchase will be complete by August.