Tuesday, April 25, 2006
At long last, a politician who's not afraid to stand up to big oil:
President George W. Bush unveiled on Tuesday a raft of proposals and government moves to counter near record-high crude oil and gasoline prices . . . .So, to recap the dilemma we face:
Bush took the offensive on Tuesday in a speech to the pro-ethanol Renewable Fuels Association, where he called for energy companies to plan "strong reinvestment" of their record profits.
Bush also gave U.S. oil companies more time to pay back emergency loans from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to put more oil on the market.
"Our strategic reserve is sufficiently large enough [sic] to guard against any major supply disruption over the next few months," he said. "So by deferring deposits until the fall we'll leave a little more oil on the market."
The amount of remaining oil that was scheduled to be delivered to the reserve was 2.1 million barrels in May, which would supply about two hours of the average 21 million barrels of oil the United States consumes each day. "Every little bit helps," Bush said.
Bush called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use fully its authority to waive federal clean-burning gasoline rules this summer, and called for a state task force to look in to ways to cut the dozens of so-called boutique fuel blends, which make it harder for refiners to move gasoline supplies to regions hit by shortages.
- Gas prices have hit (and in our part of the country passed) the three-bucks-a-gallon mark, placing a gruesome financial strain not just on commuters, but on the transportation industry and any business that depends on it;
- Oil companies have just announced the most obscene profits in history;
- As counterintuitive as it sounds, the President's threat to nuke Iran has had the unanticipated effect of bumping oil prices even higher. Worse yet, there is no ironclad guarantee that following through on the threat would help.
- And the real problem: none of the above has been lost on two of Mr. Bush's main constituencies -- the drivers of SUV's, and of pickup trucks with Confederate-flag bumper stickers. Both groups are threatening to threatening to take out their frustration on GOP candidates come November.
- Encourage energy companies to plan "strong reinvestment" of their filthy lu-- er, record profits -- because without proper encouragement and sound financial advice, executives might squander their corporate windfalls on fortified wine, lottery tickets, hookers, and $400 million retirement packages. All of which would translate into even higher gas prices, unless one of the lottery tickets paid off.
- Give Big Oil more time to pay back emergency loans from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The two-hour glut President Bush proposes to create will enable oil companies to pass along massive savings to the American consumer, as is their wont. Expect to see price reductions of up to a nickel a gallon from 3 AM to 5 AM on Thursday, May 25.
As you know, they'd give it away, but their wives won't let them.
- Waive air-pollution rules and cut back on those prissy, elitist "boutique" blends full of needless additives that allow cars to burn fuel more efficiently and cleanly. We're in this together; why should oil companies have to make all the sacrifices?? Most of the patriotic Americans we know would be thrilled to dump additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, hasten the onset of global warming, and consign their children to a lifetime of breathing filth if it'd knock off a penny or two at the pump. Temporarily. And besides, the onerous clean-fuel standards that have burdened Big Oil for decades can always be reinstituted down the line, when oil is $20 a barrel and -- ho ho. Hahahahaha. Oh, sometimes, I tell you, we just kill ourselves.