GAS PRICES

Locals react to Obama's oil plan

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(By ABC7's Jennifer Donelan and the Associated Press)

Berhane Kahsay needs relief.

The Maryland driver has been getting hurt at the gas pump.

Wary of a new surge in gas prices, the Obama administration said Thursday it is selling off 30 million barrels of oil from the country's emergency reserves as part of a broader international response to lost oil supplies caused by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly Libya.

The release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be the largest ever, amounting to half of a 60 million-barrel international infusion of oil planned for the world market over the next month.

"I think it's crazy because as fast it goes up it doesn't come down half as fast as I would like it to," said local resident Aaron McCarley.

He says he wants to see the difference in dollars and not pennies.

“We'll see how it works four cents or six cents really isn't much of a difference for me," he said.

The move comes as retail gasoline prices dropped for the 20th consecutive day, down a penny from Wednesday, to $3.61 per gallon, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That's about 21 cents lower than a month ago.

The timing brought criticism from business groups and Republican lawmakers, who accused President Barack Obama of playing politics with the country's oil reserves, which are intended to address emergencies.

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