Friday, March 11, 2011

Gas Prices and Politics

As a presidential candidate, with gasoline prices above $4.10 per gallon, Obama opposed the "gas tax holiday" proposed by both Hillary Clinton and John McCain, saying that, it was a "short-term, quick-fix that would not solve the nation's current and long term problems of high oil prices and foreign oil dependency."

As president, with gasoline at around $3.60 per gallon, President Obama is saying today that he is prepared to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to keep gas prices under control. The last release of oil from the reserve was in 2005, when Katrina essentially shut down oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, which is the purpose the reserve was designed to serve.

What happened to the man that I voted for?

Update, Saturday am: there seems to be confusion about what he said.

The CNN quote yesterday under the headline "Obama prepared to tap oil reserves," was, "President Obama said Friday that he is prepared to tap the nation's strategic oil reserves to deal with any supply disruptions as part of his effort to keep gas prices under control." (emphasis mine)

The New York Times, in an editorial today, says, "He resisted calls to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saying he would do so only when oil supplies were genuinely threatened."

But in "The Caucas" today they quote from the same speech, “If we see significant disruptions or shifts in the market that are so disconcerting to people that we think a strategic petroleum release would be appropriate, then we will take that step.” (emphasis mine)

So one reporter concludes he will tap the reserve only to protect the supply, while another concludes he will do so to control prices. I conclude that he worded it deliberately to permit both conclusions.

1 comment:

bruce said...

He was right the first time, and wrong now.

There is a difference between being a presidential candidate and being the President. He was riding high and being bouyed up then, and trying to save or cover his ass now.

He's a politician, placing himself at the mercy of the political wind. Sorry about that.

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