As political pressure mounts on US President to assure Americans to keep gasoline costs under control, President Obama seems to be step away from tapping crude from the US emergency reserves, as per Reuters. Obama refused to say what price could trigger a release, but many expect one to come sooner rather than later if fuel prices keep rising. Gasoline now is $3.54 a gallon following the biggest two-week rise since Hurricane Katrina. One more price hike and he could plan to tap the reserves. Prices could mount with the potential for further upheaval in the Middle East, and a possible demand shock if Japan rapidly increases imports after an earthquake damages its refineries and nuclear power plants.