President Barack Obama's chief of staff says tapping the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve is done only on "rare occasion."
But William Daley tells NBC's "Meet the Press" it is an option being considered in the face of soaring oil and gasoline prices.
Unrest in oil-producing countries in the Middle East, particularly Libya, have sent oil above $100 a barrel, while gas is averaging more than $3.50 a gallon.
At times the government has tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve emergency supply to stabilize prices.
The reserve contains 727 million barrels of oil.
Daley says officials are concerned about the impact of oil prices on the fragile economic recovery.