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.