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To Punish Russia, Soros Says U.S. Should Open Oil Reserve

America’s emergency stockpile of oil stands twice as large as the amount required by an international pact. George Soros has proposed selling some now to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin -- and U.S. lawmakers are starting to listen.

As the U.S. and its European allies seek to rebuke Russia for taking over the Crimea region of Ukraine, America could push down global oil prices by as much as $12 a barrel by selling 500,000 barrels a day from its strategic reserve, said Philip Verleger, a consultant who worked in the Ford and Carter administrations. The lower prices would cost Russia about $40 billion in lost income from oil and gas sales, equivalent to 2 percent of its economy, he said.