Don't blame gas costs on Bush

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  • To Brad: you misread my letter
    July 27, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    Looks like you and I both learned a little about how people read letters.

    I never asserted that Bush was RESPONSIBLE for high oil prices; I said his buddies LIKE high prices because it makes them money. Bush has oil ties, so do Cheney and Condi. Oil contributed 1.5 million to the Bush campaign. Bush has oil buddies - lots of them - and they are making money.

    The Deseret News cut out the line in my original letter, "Let's use this as an opportunity to get a BALANCED energy policy." Not stop using oil, but balance our usage with other forms of energy.

    But Bush is just pushing for drilling. Why? My claim is it might have something to do with his ties to the oil industry. Thats my argument. Brad, you would help your friends out if they asked, and they didn't even give you 1.5 million dollars.

    I made the mistake of even mentioning Bush, just like you mentioning liberals. It distracts people from the message.

    My message is: Bush should be balancing our energy policy instead of using high gas prices to push an agenda of more drilling that benefits his oil buddies.

  • Oh, Come On!
    July 24, 2008 5:08 p.m.

    "Don't blame gas costs on Bush." Chuckle, snort. WHY THE H-E-YOU-KNOW-WHATS SHOULDN'T I DO EXACTLY THAT?

    A whole lotta people really need to wake up and smell the gasoline. Whose family has deep financial ties to Big Oil companies? Who were the largest donors to his presidential campaign? Whose friends hold lucrative oil contracts in Iraq? Who could be taking much more dramatic action to address this crisis, but isn't? (Hey, a price-fixing inquiry among our Saudi friends would be a great start!) Who is giving only lip service to promoting alternative fuels?

    BTW: I'M no frothing-at-the-mouth liberal. I'm a disillusioned former Bush voter. I voted for the man--twice. Now that I can't vote AGAINST him this time, he's finally shown his true colors.

    Good luck to Bush Jr. and his Golden Parachute.

  • G
    July 23, 2008 4:08 p.m.

    "Bush just removed the Executive Prohibition on drilling after 7 years in office."


    Yeah, to lower the cost of oil by increasing supply. Democrats are throwing a fit over it. If you support
    Obama, who opposes more drilling, how can you seriously, and with a straight face, imply that Bush should have done this sooner? Are you really a Republican posting satire? Your post does not make sense.


    "Bush continues to fill the strategic petro Reserve causing increased demand."


    Because one day we'll need it.


    "Bush started a war in Iraq over WMD (code for Oil) which destabilized the region making Iran a regional power.

    Bush continues to ignore the rebels in Nigeria which continues to blow up pipelines."


    You blame bush both for starting wars and not starting wars. Pick a side and be consistent.

    If we invaded Nigeria tomorrow Democrats would go into hysteria about "stealing their oil". Surely you know that.


    "Bush VP chenny ran one of the most powerful oil companies on the planet Halliburton which has went from $6.50 to $50 bucks a shr during his administration."


    Halliburton is not an "oil company". They neither produce nor sell oil.


  • Obama Republican
    July 23, 2008 2:04 p.m.

    Odd things bush has done to keep oil going up.

    Bush just removed the Executive Prohibition on drilling after 7 years in office.

    Bush continues to fill the strategic petro Reserve causing increased demand.

    Bush started a war in Iraq over WMD (code for Oil) which destabilized the region making Iran a regional power.

    Bush continues to ignore the rebels in Nigeria which continues to blow up pipelines.

    Bush VP chenny ran one of the most powerful oil companies on the planet Halliburton which has went from $6.50 to $50 bucks a shr during his administration.

    Bush administration held closed door Energy meeting with most big Energy companies. Discussion never made public.

    I guess I just do not drink the cool aid anymore... This administration has failed, there are thousand of Republicans just like me fleeing the party.

  • To: Our Party is #1
    July 23, 2008 12:58 p.m.


    With the two lame choices we're going to have in November?

    Yes, I would vote for Bush in a heartbeat!

  • Confused
    July 23, 2008 12:41 p.m.

    Is Dubya responsible for the recent rise in oil prices or the even-more-recent fall in oil prices?

  • Whiners!
    July 23, 2008 9:26 a.m.


    Stop your whining and blaming. Doesn't do any good.

    We need to show the speculators that America is serious about developing our own sources of energy. As soon as we do that, the price of oil will come down - today.

    There, I told you so. Stop whining.

    Drill here. Drill now. Pay less.

  • G
    July 23, 2008 8:55 a.m.

    The conspiracy theory in Asia is that Bush made the Saudis reduce production in order to slow the growth of China and India and prolong American economic dominance.

    I guess that shows two things:

    (1) Everybody hates Bush.

    (2) People would rather imagine a conspiracy than understand supply and demand.

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 10:44 p.m.

    ...Continued

    "Oil companies are international. I bet they can stash money on off shore accounts. They can do that with their headquarters."

    I bet the can too.

    "Do you think Americas best tax experts work for government making 50K?"

    The question is, is Congress who writes tax law, with their $170,000 salary, smart enough to enact laws to plug loopholes?

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    No imagination | 6:59 p.m.:

    "wrz Define business."

    Which kind? Monkey business?

    "The tax laws are to encourage business."

    Tax laws have several purposes/functions. One is to raise revenue. Another is defined as "fiscal policy."

    "If you are on a vacation and there is a vendor in town, is seeing the vendor business?"

    Depends on what is being vended.

    I have property in another state. When I go there for personal reasons, I take time to inspect my property. Doing so, allows me to deduct mileage from my return. In an audit IRS would likely require me to allocate between business and personal.

    "Businesses deduct river trips as 'team building.'"

    And IRS rules allow it.

    "You drove to pick up paper for your business. While you were at the store you bought food."

    I'd stay away from the salmonella laden jalapeos.

    "The jet used by your business that flies you to Deer Creek to use the corporate retreat as your companys logo. You werent going to skiing to wanted to make you business logo get more visibility."

    Uh, take a deep breath and try that again.

    Continued....

  • Make this easy for you
    July 22, 2008 10:11 p.m.

    What is Bush responsible for during his presidency. Remember, what Rush told you, you can't prove a negative so, no terrorism won't fly.

  • Brad
    July 22, 2008 10:05 p.m.

    Wow... looks like my letter stirred up a good little online debate. I find it interesting that virtually every comment has focused on the last part of my message (certainly the most controversial) which suggests that the increasing price of gas is correlated with the Democrats take over of congress.

    Nobody has defended Scot Singpiel's original assertion (which inspired my writing this letter in the first place). Mr. Singpiel clearly argued that President Bush likes high gasoline prices because it makes his oil buddies rich. This is just plain false... and the facts back that up 100%. Gasoline prices were ridiculously low during the first 3+ years of the Bush administration. There is simply no correlation between President Bush's tenure and a rise in gas prices. We had a strong dollar and relatively cheap gasoline for roughly six years. No logic or reason would suggest why Bush would suddenly (in 2006) decide to change that.

    The truth is... the economy is bigger than any one president... and it's probably bigger than congress too. Currency and oil prices are complex and multinational. Yet... no one can argue... prices have more than doubled since November 2006.

  • DBG
    July 22, 2008 8:31 p.m.

    @Re: Ultra bob: It's clear it's not the tanking dollar? Where are you getting your info? It definately isn't supply. The Saudis increased production to show that there is plenty of supply. Athough, Libya decreased their production by the same amount. So that didn't go anywhere. The dollar rose, the price of oil sank. Then the dollar sinks, and then the oil goes back up.

    Excessive speculation and policies enacted by Bush are the two main issues affecting the cost of oil. China and India have been increasing demand for oil for years. It's not like they woke up one day and here we are. The cost of producing oil hasn't changed either.

    The reason gas is higher in Europe is that 70% of it is taxes. Not actual oil/gas cost.

  • Flummoxed in Zion
    July 22, 2008 7:31 p.m.

    Brad -- As many have pointed out, among the many causes of increased price of oil, is the devaluing the dollar as a result of our massive increase in the national debt, the direct result of the tax cuts for the rich.

    As for blaming the Democratic Congress with the "ad hoc ergo propter hoc" (after this therefore because of this) argument, that is a common failure in logic. The cause of serious problem often have long incubation periods and are not necessarily the responsibility of the office holder at the time.

    A bit of background information and scholarship clears up a lot of rhetoric-induced fantasy and confusion.

  • No imagination
    July 22, 2008 6:59 p.m.

    wrz Define business. The tax laws are to encourage business. If you are on a vacation and there is a vendor in town, is seeing the vendor business? Businesses deduct river trips as team building. You drove to pick up paper for your business. While you were at the store you bought food. The jet used by your business that flies you to Deer Creek to use the corporate retreat as your companys logo. You werent going to skiing to wanted to make you business logo get more visibility.

    Oil companies are international. I bet they can stash money on off shore accounts. They can do that with their headquarters.

    Do you think Americas best tax experts work for government making 50K?

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 6:22 p.m.

    John Galt @ 4:43 p.m.

    Monopoly:

    "A monopoly (or "Pure oligopoly") exists when a specific individual or enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it. [1] Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods."

    Oil production falls in that category.

    Unfortunately, antitrust laws apply only to US entities.

    Congress (or other government branches) frequently review corporate buyouts and/or consolidations to assure that monopolies are not created.

  • RE: ultra bob
    July 22, 2008 5:18 p.m.

    At it again with amazingly high level of ignorance.

    The US oil companies are small potatoes in the oil industry.

    The big players are saudi arabia, russia, opec, etc.

    With dramatically increasing demand for oil in places like china and india,

    It becoming increasinly clear the the US and US oil companies and the US dollar have very little effect in world oil prices.

    These reasons alone are enough to demand the US must become energy independent.

    We have oil based economy that's not changing any time soon.

    Another reason we must develope our oil and coal resources.

    At the same time we must be moving to other sources.

    solar wind etc. while great ideas are very expensive right now and are atleast a decasde away from any practicality.

    Did you know it'd takes over 4 BIllION solar panels to replace the oil used by power companies right now.

    Nuclear is really the only viable and practical replacement for oil and coal based power.

    But the important thing is we need time to build the infrastructure to eventual change over other sources without foriegn dependence, which means we must develope our oil and coal resources now if not years ago.


  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 5:17 p.m.

    :-) | 2:26 p.m.:

    "MEB. I can keep money off the books as profit by buying other businesses, investing, paying out dividends and other creative tax avoidance tactics. The goal isn't profits that can be taxed. It's adding share value."

    Whoa there, mate. You need accounting 101.

    "I know people in business who barely show a profit on paper that are doing very well. You make your car, boat, plane or vacation home a company asset. You're vacation is business travel."

    Then, later on, after an IRS audit you go to jail.

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 5:09 p.m.

    Speculator @ 3:47 p.m.:

    "Evidence that speculators actually raise prices is scarce..."

    When Dubya announced rescinding the ban on off-shore drilling the price of oil went down about $20. That's speculation. If Congress (i.e., Nancy Peloci) would allow a vote in Congress on the same issue the price of oil would go down probably by another fifty bucks. That's speculation.

    "Bless the speculator!"

    Just who are the speculators? OPEC members and other oil producers... speculating on the future price of their own damn oil. That's who. We've been duped.

  • Chris Plummer
    July 22, 2008 5:09 p.m.

    It seems there are die hard republicans and die hard democrats. when will everyone learn that both parties are the same once they are in power. Politicians seem to all be the same breed despite what party they belong too. I don't believe any of their rhetoric. Actions speak louder then words and this especially applies to politicians.

  • John Galt Re:wrz
    July 22, 2008 4:43 p.m.

    wrz,

    The alleged purpose of the Antitrust laws was to protect competition; that purpose was based on the socialistic fallacy that a free, unregulated market will inevitably lead to the establishment of coercive monopolies. But, in fact, no coercive monopoly has ever been or ever can be established by means of free trade on a free market. Every coercive monopoly was created by government intervention into the economy: by special privileges, such as franchises or subsidies, which closed the entry of competitors into a given field, by legislative action...The Antitrust laws were the classic example of a moral inversion prevalent in the history: an example of the victims, the businessmen, taking the blame for the evils caused by government, and the government using its own guilt as a justification for acquiring wider powers, on the pretext of "correcting" the evils.

  • Speculator
    July 22, 2008 3:47 p.m.

    @ 3:27

    Evidence that speculators actually raise prices is scarce, but let's take the argument that they do and apply to the need to curb the reckless exhaustion of all available resources, as you demand we must. The best way would be to let speculators run up current prices, thus lowering current demand and leaving more oil currently unused so it can be used in the future. Bless the speculator!

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 3:27 p.m.

    Republicans have made hay for decades by portraying Democrats as spendthrift, reckless liberals. Their side is supposedly "conservative" -- sober-minded, prudent, levelheaded -- while their opponents are "radical" -- dangerous, risky, foolish.

    But what is the truly "conservative" position on offshore drilling, or energy policy in general? Recklessly exhausting all available resources now, and letting the future take care of itself -- or conserving those resources, investing carefully for the future, and thinking about the long term? Where does prudence reside -- in attempting to shave a few pennies off of gas prices now, or on planning on how to cope with high gas prices for the foreseeable future?

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 3:24 p.m.

    President Bush talks tough about curbing America's oil addiction, but his renewed push for offshore drilling tells a different story.

    Who does this guy think he's trying to kid?

    Oh, almost forgot - he's trying once again to fool the stupid conservatives who support everything he does.

  • John
    July 22, 2008 2:58 p.m.

    "
    stevo | 7:45 a.m. July 22, 2008
    Bush destroyed the dollar......any questions?"

    Yes. Did you actually graduate high school yet?

    Congress spends, Congress appropriates, Congress makes the laws, Congress destroyed the dollar.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but you and your hate filled ilk make me sick, and embarrassed to even be an American.

    Your lack of understanding of the Government and how things work, should make you want to slink back under the rocks and pray no one notices you.

    Its time for all of you haters to grow up, and quit being such whiners.

    Bush did not destroy the dollar. He doesn't have ANY money to spend at all. Perhaps its the 9% approval rated Congress that needs the slap in the face, and to incur your hate filled wrath?

    Perhaps its Nancy P. publicly declaring Bush a total failure, and blaming him for everything from cavities, to brown grass in the desert. She is a disgrace, and the absolute worst Speaker of the House America has ever had to deal with.

    Just in case you missed it, you all sound like third graders, and make a lot of us sick with your childish complaints.

  • Tommie
    July 22, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    High oil prices are not President Bush's fault, and it is going to be Congress's fault very soon if they don't lift the drilling bans; it may not be a solution for tomorrow, but it is a solution that will work, it just doesn't work with the left's agenda.

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 2:52 p.m.

    If money income stays the same, but the price level increases, the purchasing power of that income falls. Inflation does not always imply falling purchasing power of one's real income, since one's money income may rise faster than inflation.

  • Senate Report
    July 22, 2008 2:50 p.m.

    @ 2:40:

    The Senate clearly has no incentive to make the Bush administration look bad so that is a fully trustworthy document with no need to look at any outside sources for verification.

  • Thomas
    July 22, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    High oil prices are definitely George W. Bush's fault. He could solve the problem in twenty minutes. Just nuke China and India, whose increasing demand for oil is responsible for virtually all the increased global demand over the past decade.

    When supplies rise more slowly than demand, prices rise. When *future* demand is expected to grow much more quickly than future supply, futures traders jump into the market and bid up the *present* price.

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    The 4-part posting on this blog of how the Bush Administration manipulated the cost of gasoline is all documented in the Senate Report.

    But our hardcore conservative friends refuse to admit what happened because of their loyalty to the GOP.

    This is truly a sad state of affairs and the political division is a severe waste of time and energy.

  • Olympus
    July 22, 2008 2:33 p.m.

    @ Chris Plummer:

    Of course George W. Bush can affect everything. He's a god. He even caused polar bears to become endangered even though their population has increased from 5,000 to 25,000 over the last twenty years. AMAZING!

    Who wouldn't vote for a god?

  • Chris Plummer
    July 22, 2008 2:29 p.m.

    The way some of you are talking makes it sound like the President of the United States of America is a useless figurehead.
    The presidency as amassed a lot of power in the last 20 years. Yes the president can affect everything. But not one thing is only affected by the president. There are a lot of other factors. But lets not dismiss the glaring ones. Like George W. Bush

  • :-)
    July 22, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    MEB. I can keep money off the books as profit by buying other businesses, investing, paying out dividends and other creative tax avoidance tactics. The goal isn't profits that can be taxed. It's adding share value.

    I know people in business who barely show a profit on paper that are doing very well. You make your car, boat, plane or vacation home a company asset. You're vacation is business travel.

    There is a reason tax lawyer make a lot of cash.

    Bush isn't responsible for our economy but Reagan was? It's not the job of a president to show leadership that keeps his party in power? Who appoints the Secretary of treasury? Bush can't call the Fed Chief? He can't go before the American public as their trusted leader and put pressure on congress?

    If you have low expectation of a president, Bush is your man. Vote McCain and stay this course.

  • its a gusher
    July 22, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    re: MEB | 10:44 a.m. July 22, 2008

    "Then, explain why gas prices in Europe have gone up 40% since January when the Euro is so strong."

    Perhaps, its because the currency used to trade Oil is the good old greenback.

    Speculators betting on the potential demand in China & India along w/ a weak dollar are whats contributing to the price @ the pump.

    Maybe, the price has come down because we're driving less because Billo the clown i.e. O'Reilly has commanded us to do so.

  • Olympus
    July 22, 2008 2:00 p.m.

    I know of no other president who can cause ocean levels to rise. Dubya must be God. Maybe not the god, but at least a god. That gets my vote every time.

  • MEB
    July 22, 2008 1:43 p.m.

    Many comments have talked about windfall profits for oil companies. Go read their annual reports (it's very easy to do research like this on line - no need to guess or rely on the information from freak sites). Gross Profit Dollars from all of the majors have ranged between 8-10% for 20 years or more. They are making more overall profit because their sales are up. Sales are up because demand is up.

    The solution is simple supply and demand economics. Increase supplies to exceed demand and the price will come down.

    In other words - Drill, Drill, Drill. Any other option means we will be paying >$4 per gallon for gas until the end of time.

    And while we are talking about alternative energy, which one will power jet engines for commercial airline flights? Or is commercial air travel a thing of the past?

    Drill, Drill, Drill.

  • George the Terrible
    July 22, 2008 1:06 p.m.

    George W. Bush is not only the worst president in history, but also the most ingenious and powerful. Consider the wonders of diplomacy, conspiracy, nature, and deception he has achieved:

    1) He attacked his own country on 9/11 without leaving a single credible clue that he was the mastermind

    2) He caused a massive hurricane to wipe out New Orleans (somehow he was unable to stop one from hitting his beloved Houston)

    3) He manipulated the independent intelligence gathering agencies of Germany and the United Kingdom to support his conclusion there were WMD's in Iraq

    4) He (and make no mistake, it was HIS genious otherwise oil companies would have gotten the prices this high much sooner) brought oil prices to record levels, again without leaving any credible evidence that he was responsible

    These and so many other miraculous achievements lead me to conclude that George W. Bush can be none other than...drum roll...SATAN!!!!

  • Our party is #1! Our party is #1
    July 22, 2008 12:49 p.m.

    Ya know,
    there are some people out there who are so entirely duped by the current administration, that if Cheney and Bush were able to run again - the fools would vote for them again.

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 12:46 p.m.

    Quietly... | 12:06 p.m.: "His answer was, however, surprising. Simply said, OPEC would not increase production, because there was not sufficient demand to justify the cost. A business decision. A telling one. "

    A red herring.

    "It would seem to be in OPEC's interest to cash in on the "skyrocketing" demand, but there isn't enough to support the cost of increased production."

    It reportedly costs the Saudis $2 a barrel to pump.

  • JCE
    July 22, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    Gas prices 5 fold increase since Shrub was appointed President. If we had elected Col Sanders and chicken had a 5 fold increase might'en we not be just a tad suspisious?

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 12:22 p.m.

    To: John Galt | 11:47 a.m.

    I agree that more taxes for big oil is not the solution. They merely jack the prices to cover any increase.

    But applying antitrust laws is a different matter. Antitrust laws are essential where competition is weak of nonexistent such as the oil industry. And especially in an industry that provides a product so essential to the health and well-being of the American economy.

  • Quietly...
    July 22, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    In a Wall Street Journal piece approximately two months ago, an interview with an OPEC representative was outlined wherein he was asked why OPEC refused to increase production in a time of increased demand. The obvious answer, according to all who seem to post here, should have been that OPEC wished to drive prices to the limit. His answer was, however, surprising. Simply said, OPEC would not increase production, because there was not sufficient demand to justify the cost. A business decision. A telling one. It would seem to be in OPEC's interest to cash in on the "skyrocketing" demand, but there isn't enough to support the cost of increased production. They did increase some at the request of the POTUS in an effort to dampen an increasing speculation in the futures market. Fact is, the oil companies are receiving windfall profits, but it is at the hand of market speculators. We want to blame the "big bad oil barons", but they benefit because of our own greed and rush to panic, not because of normal supply and demand economics. The only way more drilling would reduce cost is to nationalize oil fields. Dangerous precedent.

  • Bush & Oil Prices - End
    July 22, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    the method the Bush administration chose was to fill the SPR without regard to crude oil prices at all but simply at a constant rate of speed. The result was extremely high prices for gasoline and increased charges to be born by the taxpayers. The Bush administration denies this. But the method they chose did not add any additional reserve oil to the nations strategic supply. So why do it? Oil companies were happy, after all oilmen contributed $26.7 million to Bushs campaign in 2000 and another $18 million for the 2002 election.



    Another possible reason is this: The only way to get oil companies willing to make investments in drilling new sources of oil is to keep oil prices high. The nice thing about this methodology is that criticism can be so easily deflected as a White House spokesman did in a recent interview, by claiming the purchases were for national security reasons.

  • Bush & How he did it Part 4
    July 22, 2008 11:53 a.m.

    The report advised the new president, At a minimum the government should aim to fill all of the nearly 700 million barrels of [reserve] capacity it currently has available. Later, the National Energy Policy report recommended that the President wait until exchanged SPR barrels were returned and then he should determine whether offshore Gulf of Mexico royalty oil deposits to the SPR should be resumed. So after September 11, 2001, George W. Bush vowed to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) to capacity.



    The Baker report was not irresponsible, it also warned the president, One problem with trying to refill the reserve at this time when markets are strong is that any purchases made by the U.S. government would add to the current tight supply. In other words, prices would go up!

  • John Galt
    July 22, 2008 11:47 a.m.

    Public policy can encourage this bursting bubble scenario. The Democrats want to tax the oil companies or use the antitrust laws against them. Big mistake. More taxes get you LESS oil and "concentration" in the oil industry is not really the problem. The on-going Congressional hearings "investigating" oil prices and profits is a charade and is purely political theater. The very same federal and state governments that complain about high oil prices continue to tax gasoline at a rate (40 cents per gallon) far higher than the profit rate for the oil companies. So much for government concern about consumers.

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    To: GB @ 10:36 a.m.

    What you seem to be saying is that the oil companies have their own well-being in mind... not the American economy or the American consumer. They don't seem overly concerned about how high the gas prices go because the higher the price the more they rake in. They know that the relationship between price and demand is essentially inelastic.

    Solutions?:

    Do what most other countries around the world have done. Nationalize the oil industry. Is Saudi oil a private enterprise? How about Iran oil? Or Venezuela? Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who recently threatened oil executives with nationalization may be onto something.

    Oil production is a monopoly. Most monopolies are controlled by anti-trust laws. Why not oil?

  • Bush & Oil Prices Part 3
    July 22, 2008 11:26 a.m.

    Why did Bush do it? For one thing, he was advised to do it. It has to do with the secret National Energy Policy advisory group headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney has steadfastly refused to release the names of those who advised the administration on energy matters. However, according to an article published in the Sunday Herald in Scotland (October 6, 2002), by Neil Mackay, it was former Secretary of State, James Baker who personally carried an advisory report to Cheney in April of 2001. Assembled at the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy of Rice University, the task force consisted of oil and energy executives. The report, Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century is referred to simply as the Baker Report or report

  • wrz
    July 22, 2008 11:17 a.m.

    Really, think about it. | 12:37 a.m.:

    "It's so darn simple. When your dollars are worth half as much, gas will cost you twice as much as it did. Who was leader as our dollar crashed?"

    Then explain why gas prices around the world, not just in the US, are at an all-time high. (Hint: a dollar devaluation means foreign currency valuation increases.)

    "It was the debt and the sub-prime crisis that caused the dollar to tank during the Bush rein."

    The debt is the prime responsibility of Congress... as is legislation controlling real estate mortgage rules and regulations. You'd do well to direct your vitriol at the proper institution.

    To: Cats @ 10:13 a.m. - Absolutely the best post of the day. You hit the nail on the head.

  • michaelh
    July 22, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    It will only take ten years to get oil out of the ground because of the greens and their lawyers. If you want inexpensive oil quickly, open ALL AVAILABLE PUBLIC LANDS, stop the activist EPA and the green lawyers. We would have gushers in a matter of months.
    Nuclear power would be a mere fraction of the current cost by getting the hysterically paranoid greens out of the courtroom and into the insane asylums.

  • Bush & Oil Prices Part 2
    July 22, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    The Senate report said in a one-month period in mid 2002 the Bush administration purchases caused crude oil prices to soar, raising the cost of heating oil by 13%, jet fuel by 10% and diesel fuel by 8%. The bottom line was the Bush policy change cost citizens between $500 million and $1 billion.

    When crude oil jumps from $20 a barrel to $30, the Senate report says, the costs to U.S. taxpayers are an additional $1 million per day. Over three months, the additional cost of filling the SPR approached $100 million, which will ultimately be borne by U.S. taxpayers.

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 10:59 a.m.

    On March 5, 2003, Senator Carl Levin, the Ranking Minority Member of the Senates Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, released a report prepared by the minority staff that reveals why gasoline prices soared under the Bush administration. It has to do with the nations Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) and some odd decisions by the Department of Energy (DOE) after consulting with White House officials.

    According to the Senate Report, the Bush administration added forty million barrels of oil to the nations reserves in 2002. That wouldnt be a problem in and of it self. But the purchases represented an extreme change in energy policy; they were made in a strong market, with a tight supply of oil, which increased demand, which in turn pushed up the gasoline prices to their highest levels in twelve years.

  • Talking Points?
    July 22, 2008 10:58 a.m.

    And You liberals don't spout off whatever your leaders tell you? Give me a break! Don't go off attacking other people for using points given by Rush or Sean because you don't like them, and then do the same thing! The point is a good one, and it deserves to be made!

  • Tired
    July 22, 2008 10:53 a.m.

    When will you people quit calling for windfall profit taxes on the oil companies? The windfall profits are being made the the corn producers who have turned off the food flow to turn on the ethanol faucet. Tax them!!!

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    George Bush, Junior sold 60% of his stock in Harken Oil in June, 1990 for $848,560. That was brilliant timing; in August, Iraq invaded Kuwait and Harken's stock dropped 25%. Soon after, a big quarterly loss caused it to drop further.
    A secret State Deparment memo in May of that year had warned that Saddam was out of control, and listed options for responding to him, including an oil ban that might affect US oil prices.

    We can't be sure that the President or an aide mentioned these developments to his son, or that Harken's representative who was admitted to meetings with the President picked up something and reported back to Junior. But it is the simplest and most logical explanation. The Bushes acknowledge that George Senior and his sons consult on political strategy and other matters constantly.

  • Logic or mantras
    July 22, 2008 10:54 a.m.

    Cats being a Faux News parrot isn't doing your homework. Countries paying for gas in euros haven't been affected as much as we have been affected, because of the dollar.

    Add in a bit of speculation to the mix. and you have high prices.

    If you thought independently, you would realize the most we can add to the supple, until these wells run dry, is maybe four percent. Four percent Would drop oil by maybe $6 a barrel.

    American oil will sell for the global price. Why do conservatives believe business is altruistic in nature? BP is going to invest money to drop their profit margin.

    Is using every remaining oil source in America good for the future security of America?


  • MEB
    July 22, 2008 10:44 a.m.

    @ Oh Please - Claiming that 'ALL economists agree that the gas-price spike is due mostly to the 40% tumble in the value of the dollar' is either a lie, or so mis-informed it's ridiculous. Please show me where this claim has some validity.

    Then, explain why gas prices in Europe have gone up 40% since January when the Euro is so strong.

  • GB
    July 22, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    The world economy, the U.S. economy, and the dollar fluctuate, and prices generally increase over time. They always have, and they always will. The President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, have very little impact on it all.

    Oil companies can charge whatever they want for their product. They are for-profit businesses. They will, and should, charge as much as they can to maximize their profits. They will also direct their R&D toward what they think will make them the most money in the future. There's no need to be angry at them. Rather than getting angry, just stop buying the product, or buy less of it. Oil companies can do what they want to do, and you can do what you want to do. Take control of your lives.

  • Cats
    July 22, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    One more time for Stevo and all those who have never had a class in economics: THE PRESIDENT HAS ALMOST NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ECONOMY OR THE WORLDWIDE PRICE OF OIL!!!

    International demand has much more to do with the current price of oil The Federal Reserve is much more involved in the strength or weakness of the dollar than the President. Congress is much more responsible for the sitation with energy policy and tax policy than the President. In fact, the President tried to get an energy bill through Congress several years ago. It was pronounced DEAD ON ARRIVAL as soon as it hit the Hill.

    Once again the Professional Bush Haters come out of the woodwork. Most of their comments are based on a lack of understanding of the economy, the international economy, the geopolitical situation, the federal reserve, the Congress and, quite frankly, just about EVERYTHING ELSE.

  • Eric Samuelsen
    July 22, 2008 9:58 a.m.

    I love letters like this one: all those Hannity/Rush talking points laid out so neatly. The problem has nothing to do with oil companies needing more places to drill. They've got lots of oil reserves they've chosen not to drill, because its more profitable for them to sell oil they buy internationally--most of it from Mexico and Canada. These other respondents have it right--a devalued dollar is more to blame than Congress. As for energy independence--no one on earth is energy independent. Not Brazil, not Venequela, not even Saudi Arabia. Kuwait imports energy. Energy independence makes for a nice slogan, but that's about all it is. Energy diversity, though, that's a good thing.

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 9:57 a.m.

    I don't need any more reasons to think Bush has been a disaster. I'll give him a pass on this one.

  • Protection
    July 22, 2008 9:49 a.m.

    You blame the price of oil on a Democratic Congress, but fail to give them credit for the safety of this nation.

    Since the Democrats took control of Congress, there has not been a single terrorist attack on this nation.

    Isn't your safety worth a few more pennies at the gas pump?

  • Grover
    July 22, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    Blame! That game is about as productive as "I told you so!" and it only feels good for a minute. Bush, Oil Companies, Middle Eastern oil cartels, Republicans and Democrats, American Consumers all are a piece of the puzzle of how we got here. Now why not focus on what we do from here on (and complaining is not a solution).

  • Anonymous
    July 22, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    I get the biggest kick out of the Bush supporters.
    If something goes right ... (sorry, I can think of anything that has gone right at this moment) the Bush-worshippers say it is because of Bush. If things go wrong (seems to be a multitude of that category nowadays) the Bush-worshippers (and Bush himself) say, "it's all Congress's fault!"

    Ah, politics!
    Ain't it grand?

  • Oh Please
    July 22, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    ALL economists agree that the gas-price spike is due mostly to the 40% tumble in the value of the dollar, which is due DIRECTLY to Bush's outrageous deficit. A gallon of gas is actually worth about $2.50 in Clinton dollars. Oh, for the good old Clinton days!

  • bdavid
    July 22, 2008 9:01 a.m.

    One commenter hit it on the spot... Gas is expensive everywhere in the world... not just in the United States. The declining dollar actually has little to do with it. It's supply and demand, the speculators, and a variety of factors. Quite frankly, I think Big Oil is seeing a bubble that will burst just like the dotcome bubble... and we'll be back down to $2.50 gas sometime in the next year or two. Nevertheless, the Democrats need to come up with a better solution than just "alternative energy". This issue has the potential to derail the Democrats if they persist on no drilling at whatever cost.

  • MEB
    July 22, 2008 8:49 a.m.

    Sorry, Ernest, you lost your credibility yesterday when you couldn't divide 3 Trillion by 300 Million and come up with a number even close to correct.

    And Rey, are you aware that Brazil gained energy independence in a matter of a few short years by pursuing offshore oil resources? 20% of their oil comes from sugar cane conversion, and 80% from off shore oil. So, if this is a world wide commodity, and drilling one's own resources won't have any impact on prices, etc., then how did Brazil do it?

    Fact is, drilling our own resources, and passing legislation (CONGRESS!!) that requires using our own resources for internal consumption, with no exporting allowed, would go a long way toward solving our short term energy needs. This should not be done without a long term plan to reduce our dependence on oil.

    Or we could continue to sit back and allow China to drill our offshore oil reserves. Strangely, enviros seem to have little imfluence on the Chinese Government to curtail their appetite for more oil. If we don't drill it, they will.

  • Jake Smith
    July 22, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    I`mean`t Irag not Iran.

  • Jake Smith
    July 22, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    When did gas prices start going up? When bush started the war with Iran. Of course it is mostly his fault. It doesn`t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I`m soon going to be out of a job because of the price of corn the production of ethanal. I`ll be voting for Obama

  • Common Sense
    July 22, 2008 8:36 a.m.

    People...Please! We keep crying over how bad we have it. I just got back from Europe, and trust me, they have it even worse than we do. After converting euros to dollars, and liters to gallons...they are paying between $8.25 & $9.00 per gallon for their gasoline!! Also you don't see ANY suv's or trucks over there! Everything is small and economical! We can blame Bush all you want, but the real problem is OURSELVES! Remember WE vote these knuckleheads into office. If you don't like what is going on, then educate yourself and put the right people in office. Unfortunately, we have two more knuckleheads running for President again! We need to quit being devided between Democrats & Republicans and get on with a better and stronger way of life. I don't like Bush anymore than anyone else, but name me a President that ever had to deal with the type of world that we are dealing with today? The oil prices are a direct result of China and India becoming more modern nations and pushing for their fair share of the world's oil reserves. We need to find alternative solutions for our oil dependence!!!!!

  • REY
    July 22, 2008 8:20 a.m.

    What a sad state of affairs. DRILL DRILL DRILL. That's all I keep hearing. What a WASTE, Drilling isn't going to solve our energy problems.

    Good Grief.

  • Ernest T. Bass
    July 22, 2008 7:56 a.m.

    You are so correct, corporate and individual greed has never been a trait of republicans.
    Also, all that demand in China & India is just a myth.
    Don't forget that the US never did reach their peak oil in the 70s and that there is plenty of it.

  • Dave
    July 22, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    Obama is predicting $12 gas if he is elected, That is one thing I believe him on.

  • DLG
    July 22, 2008 7:47 a.m.

    I find it kind of funny that people are blaming Bush for thier woes like the writer who's handle is Bush's hand. Saying that it is all Bush's fault that we the Americans are driving gas guzzlers. Like Bush forced you to buy the SUV or other gas hogs. Heck, the high MPG cars were around all this time for you to buy. So why didn't you buy one of them to drive around in? Oh, I know it is easier to blame someone else for our problems then look at the real person to blame. Which is themselves!!

  • stevo
    July 22, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    Oil is pegged to the dollar, Bush destroyed the dollar......any questions?

  • Ultra Bob
    July 22, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    For the ? time. World oil prices are set by the world oil monopoly made up mainly by United states Oil interest. There is no free market in oil and speculators do what they do because of their expectations of what the oil monopoly will do.

    The Iraqi war was started to allow the oil corporations to gain control over a rogue nation who was upsetting the oil cartel. That mission was accomplished early in the war. Thousands of people both American and Iraqi have died to accomplish what the oil companies and their puppet Bush wanted.


    Unless we can regain controll over the oil interests, gas prices will continue to rise and America will sink into a third world status.

  • BradleyVehicle
    July 22, 2008 7:33 a.m.

    Brad, gas prices are going up for a variety of reasons, but primarily because of increased demand and a decreasing, finite resource. Political instability in the Mideast contributes, speculation also...To blame "not drilling" is baloney and the only ones who believe it drank the kool aid long ago. Come out here to Vernal and see whether or not we are drilling. The Bush Admin rammed through a blitzkrieg on all oil and gas within their reach, which is one reason I don't blame him alone for gasoline price increases. ANWR and OCS drilling will no doubt be debated, and no doubt will be allowed by the American people in some cases.
    These facts won't stop people like you pinning the blame on those evil environmentalists, though. For such people, the gasoline crunch is just another stick to hit enviros with.

  • KM
    July 22, 2008 7:24 a.m.

    @ How about this idea?
    How about this idea: we start using our own resources to not rely so darn much on Iran and others for our energy appetite.

  • East Coast Reader
    July 22, 2008 7:19 a.m.

    All of the comments above have validity (well almost all of them.). I'm the last person to defend President Bush but let's give credit where credit is due. When I was a youngster in the 70's we experience the famous oil embargo that sent gas prices skyrocketing from 35 cents to over 85 cents. We all talked about alternative energies and our need to wean ourselves from foreign oil. Well, that was 35 years ago and what has changed. NONE of the presidents since that time has shown the leadership necessary to make gasoline powered automobiles a thing of the past. All of the presidents and all of us get the blame. How much would all of our lives changed if we didn't need foreign oil? Just sayin'.

  • Really?
    July 22, 2008 6:34 a.m.

    I just came from Mexico where the price of gasoline is just about the same as here in the U.S. So, if the dollar were the only factor in the price of oil, why is the price in Mexico the same as here?

    I am sure that the "evil" Darth VAder I mean Pres. Bush loves the the high price of gas. The day Baraack Obama becomes Pres. gas prices are going to fall back to $1-$2 doallars. What is wrong with this sentence?

    The fact is that the price of gas is multifactorial. That is a big word but it means that there are many reasons for the higher prices we pay at the pump.

    I am disappointed that neither congress nor the executive branch have shown any restraint on spending. Yes, congress controls the purse strings but I have not noticed many vetoes. Maybe Mr. Obama will reign in government spending.

    Notice that most problems have more than one cause. So please when when posting, put down your axe and partisan commentary and ad some reasonable thought to the conversation.

    I know that won't happen but I had to try.

  • Bush's hand
    July 22, 2008 6:31 a.m.

    There are a number of factors driving oil prices, many of them the work of the Bush Administration. First, by not demanding fuel efficiency standards for Detroit, the result was people buying vehicles that last many years and "locked" drivers into gas guzzlers. Second, after 9/11, Bush extended incentives for small businesses to buy 6000 lbs.-plus SUVs, regardless of need, with the allowance of writing off the SUV within a year. This sparked demand for gas guzzling SUVs and steered Detroit to create manufacturing infrastructure for such vehicles. The outcome was America became more dependent on oil from countries waging terrorism against us. Third, Bush ran up trade and budget deficits, driving the dollar's value down, making oil increasingly expensive. To blame Democrats for refusing to allow oil companies from drilling is silly. Bush has expanded consumption to make oil more expensive rather than follow Democrats desires for developing an infrastructure of greater fuel efficiency. Yes, Bush's shortsighted policies -- that benefit his oil investments -- is partly to blame. I think America has learned a lesson regarding putting into office someone so tied to one industry can result in disaster!

  • the madness....
    July 22, 2008 6:25 a.m.

    continues.And now Nancy Pelosi won't even allow a vote in the House on whether to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. Who is she representing? California citizens or Saudi Arabia? Talk about political suicide...

  • Cats
    July 22, 2008 6:02 a.m.

    Apparently, a few people around here could use a class in economics.

    Anybody who knows anything about economics knows that the President actually has very little to do with the economy. World oil prices are a product of many factors--world demand, fluctuation of currencies, etc. The President actually doesn't have much ability to do anything about it. He just doesn't have that kind of power.

    Unfortunately, bad public policy has had a lot to do with it also. Congress needs to get out the way and stop trying to pick winners and losers in energy or in the economy in general. We need more drilling, coal gasification, solar, wind, tar sands, shale oil, nuclear and any other energy sources that are available to us.

    We have the ability to solve this problem if we can get Congress to stop this suicidal energy policy we have had for a lot of years. OUR NATIONAL SECURITY DEPENDS ON IT.

  • Confused
    July 22, 2008 5:58 a.m.

    JTM,
    Actually it is Not the Oil company that sets the price of oil, but the speculators.

    I am not sure how it all works, but that is why the oil companies are asking the people to talk to their representatives about controlling the speculators and thus reducing the price of oil.

  • How about this idea.
    July 22, 2008 5:17 a.m.

    Brad,

    I am sure you would admit that each time Bush/Cheney threatened Iran with military action the price of a barrel of oil increased.

    It is a cause and effect relationship.

    The oil speculators would give the excuse of instability in the political situation in the middle east.

    Specifically when the Israeli Defense Minister said that an attack on Iran by them was unavoidable the price of a barrel of oil went up ten dollars a barrel in one 24 hour period.

    I find it funny that after almost eight years of rule they now try to blame others for the high costs of gasoline.

    I guess here in Utah we should not complain because we returned the two oil men Bush/Cheney back into power with the highest approval rating in the nation.

  • Agki
    July 22, 2008 3:59 a.m.

    Progressive Democrats are not in control of Congress. There is a residuum of rightwing Democrats, mostly from the South, who are really Republicans in ideology. They also could not over-ride a veto by themselves. But, more than that, what could they do? Take over Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Iran? We tried it in Iraq and it has cost over a trillion dollars and the impact on oil prices has been zero.

    The previous commenters are far more in tune with reality than the letter writer. The dollar has fallen in value for the reasons stated (and more besides) and oil companies are making fantastic profits, much of it windfall profit.

    And increasing drilling in the US will have no effect until 2020 or so and then its effect will be negligible. Demand will have gone up by then and the price per barrel will be even higher. They're not going to give us that new oil production, you now. We will pay world market prices for it and have to compete with Europe, China, India, the rest of developing Asia, South America, and the Martians to get it. Nothing good there.

  • CHris Plummer
    July 22, 2008 2:54 a.m.

    Really, here in Utah you get people writing to the papers to lay off president Bush. WOw.

  • Don't get it?
    July 22, 2008 2:14 a.m.

    Why should a oil producer have to accept dollars worth half as much? They need twice as many relative to what a Clinton dollar was once worth. Business is business: nor charity.

  • orion
    July 22, 2008 1:58 a.m.

    Good grief.

    I suppose Bush's attempt to curtail Social Security, trim Medicare benefits, and getting "C"s in college is also the fault of a Democratic congress.

  • JTM
    July 22, 2008 12:41 a.m.

    Get real, its the fault of the greedy oil companies. That's it. Trying to blame everyone under the moon reminds me of the parents who blames xbox for all their children's problems. The people who set the prices and who profit the most are to blame for the high prices. It's not rocket science.

  • Really, think about it.
    July 22, 2008 12:37 a.m.

    It's so darn simple. When you dollars are worth half as much, gas will cost you twice as much as it did. Who was leader as our dollar crashed?

    It was the debt and the subprime crisis that caused the dollar to tank during the Bush rein.

    If, Clinton had ran up debt and there was a credit crisis on his watch, conservatives would be correctly point their finger at his economics.