Merkley asks Obama to release oil from petroleum reserve

Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley has joined five other senators asking President Obama to take steps that might hold down the price of gasoline.

Merkley, a Portland Democrat, joined Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Barbara Boxer of California, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York asking that the president release oil from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve. That could ease some supply concerns while unrest spread through the Middle East.

At the same time, the six senators called on the president to use profits from the sale of the oil to advance electric vehicle technology and reduce the deficit.