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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 2, 2005

Memorandum for the Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Homeland Security

SUBJECT: Finding of a Severe Energy Supply Interruption

Recent events in connection with Hurricane Katrina have resulted in a "severe energy supply interruption" as defined in section 161(d) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), 42 U.S.C. 6241(d). Based on the advice of the Secretary of Energy and on other information, I find and determine, in accordance with EPCA section 161(d), that a severe energy supply interruption exists because:

  1. an emergency situation exists and there is a significant reduction in supply which is of significant scope and duration;
  2. a severe increase in the price of petroleum products has resulted from such emergency situation; and
  3. such price increase is likely to or may cause a major adverse impact on the national economy.

For these reasons, the Secretary of Energy is authorized and directed to draw down and sell Strategic Petroleum Reserve petroleum pursuant to EPCA section 161 at a rate the Secretary may determine and in accordance with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve standard sales procedures now in effect. The drawdown and sale authorized and directed by this finding will allow the United States to meet its obligations under the international energy program. If the Secretary determines the circumstances leading to this finding no longer support initiation or continuation of a drawdown and sale of petroleum from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Secretary is authorized to cancel in whole or in part any offer to sell petroleum as a part of any drawdown and sale pursuant to this finding.

The Secretary of Homeland Security already has waived the coastwise laws generally for the transportation of petroleum released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, whether pursuant to an exchange, sale, or otherwise, undertaken in response to the circumstances arising from Hurricane Katrina, and I direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to continue such waiver for the transportation of all petroleum withdrawn from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during the drawdown pursuant to this finding.


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