Apr 23, 2006

Bush: "Tough Summer" Ahead

Left: President Bush at a fuel cell plant in West Sacramento, CA

(Washington, DC) President George W. Bush believes that rising oil prices spell difficulties ahead for American consumers.

"We're going to have a tough summer because people are beginning to drive now during tight supply," Bush said. "The American people have got to understand what happens elsewhere in the world affects the price of gasoline you pay here."

These are some of the first comments Bush has made about the recent spike in oil and gasoline prices, and some pundits believe that the President's remarks indicate that the GOP is worried that gas prices could be a political albatross in the 2006 elections.

Bush, however, continues to look at the demand side of the equation.

We've got a real problem when it comes to oil. We're addicted, and it's harmful for the economy, and it's harmful for our national security," he said. "The American people have got to understand what happens elsewhere in the world affects the price of gasoline you pay here."

Certainly the demand for oil in countries like China and India has contributed to the reduction in supplies. However, the President dodged the issue of recent saber-rattling with Iran as a contributory factor.

The President also avoided the issue that the major oil companies and cartels are reaping record profits.

"We're watching real carefully to make sure people are treated fairly," the president said, though failing to offer specifics on how the federal government is monitoring price-gouging.

The controversy over big oil profits became even more heated when it was announced last week that outgoing Exxon CEO Lee Raymond received a retirement package of over $400 million in December.


ToledoNative said...

Let me give you my impression of how the feds monitor for gouging:

Feds: (to oil companies) are you gouging the driving public?

Oil companies: Of course not.

Feds: (to the American public) We've looked into the situation, and there is no gouging going on.

Driving public: Duh, ok. when is American Idol on?
Okay, I'm exagerating a little bit here, but I hope you get my point.

Newsguy said...

The saber rattling on Iran may have been significant, but oil prices have risen steadily since 9 /ll, a fact I point out at my blog, along with a chart that shows the steady rise. Can you believe oil prices were only at around $20.00 a barrel in September 2001? Bush's war in Iraq has been a major contributing factor and prices at the pump may finally serve to pound home the fact that this administration is incompetent and does not serve the interests of the American people.

Hooda Thunkit said...

In light of the significant increase in oil company profits it is clear that the increase in the price of oil has treated them very well, however at our expense.

Makes the President's words ring hollow. . .

historymike said...

(laughing at Toledonative's comments)

Good point, Newsguy, and I completely left out the Iraq invasion as a contributory (escalatory?) factor. Sadaam, for all his faults, always wanted the pipelines to flow.

True, Hooda. Those free-markets-at-all-costs types are tripping trying to justify the insane profits.

ToledoNative said...

I shoulda changed the last line to:
"Duh, ok. I'll go fill my big honkin' SUV up then."

Oh, well. Glad I gave you a laugh anyway, Mike.

Stephanie said...

I think, perhaps, you misquoted him, Mike.

It should read:
"We're watching real carefully..." as the money rolls into our "war chests."

liberal_dem said...

Funy stuff here.

"Tough Summer Ahead" Profound.

Yet clearly classic Bush. Fits the pattern nicely.

A jog of memory:

1.) Bush clears brush on ranch in August of 2001 while urgent memo about bin Laden collects dust on his desk;

2.) Bush assures us in the run-up to his war that Saddam is dangerous and something about a mushroom cloud.

3.) Bush declares that bin Laden will be captured 'dead or alive.'

4.) Bush tells us that 'anyone in his administration who leaked the name of the CIA operative will be fired.'

5.) Bush swears that the war is going well and the 'terrorists are on the run.'

6.) Bush tells Michael Brown, 'You're doin a heck of a job, Browinie.'

7.) Bush says about gasoline prices, 'Tough summer ahead.'

Any questions or are all of you fast learners?

bonvoyage said...

Some interesting points, historymike and newsguy. Certainly Iraq has led to price increases, as have the other events you mentioned--not to mention the effect Katrina has had. While they have all played some role in making oil more expensive, I believe it has been the unrelenting demand for oil that has played the largest role in rising prices.

yuckyducky said...

I agree with bonvoyage. There seem to be so many factors that have led to price increases. What makes for a tough summer ahead is that the government taxes on gas are outrageous...almost fifty cents per gallon! I think that's where the real gouging lies.

ToledoNative said...


You forgot the one quote which puts the 'it gonna be a tough summer' in perspective.

Jump in the way-back machine with me.

June 28, 2000

Bush Would Use Power of Persuasion to Raise Oil Supply

The Associated Press
Gov. George W. Bush said in Michigan Tuesday that he "would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot."

WAYNE, Mich., June 27 -- Gov. George W. Bush of Texas said today that if he was president, he would bring down gasoline prices through sheer force of personality, by creating enough political good will with oil-producing nations that they would increase their supply of crude.

"I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply," Mr. Bush, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, told reporters here today. "Use the capital that my administration will earn, with the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, and convince them to open up the spigot."

Yea right...

SquarePeg said...

Simply put - we need a sensible energy policy put in place that will reduce our dependence on oil. We need our domestic oil companies to invest their billion dollar profits into finding ways to tap into our domestic sources as well has develop new alternative solutions.

Christopher said...

Trusting the feds to fix this problem, be they repugs or dems, is trusting the wrong people. No administration is going to help the situation by sticking their nose in and raising taxes or fixing prices or some such.

We need more creativity and opportunity for new sources of energy and for new energy efficient products that are affordable to all. One reason it's hard to afford energy efficient products is all the taxes and regulations in place. Open things up, a la the internet and open source, and better things will follow.

Rachel said...

I'm afraid I have to agree with squarepeg... the answer to our problems is in this type of sensible, comprehensive policy. The fact is, high prices exist because we demand so much oil, not because the companies are trying to hurt us. Plus, Katrina, OPEC, and unrest in oil countries in the Middle East and Venezuela are only making oil costs go up.

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dixiechic said...

Rachel makes good sense...the reason oil co profits are huge is because BILLIONS of people consumer HUGE amounts of their product every day. It's a matter of scale. Having said that, we need to stop blaming everyone but ourselves and start talking sensible energy policy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.