[Katie Couric speaking to Tim Russert on the Today Show, September 27, 2005 – President in question? George Bush]
Couric: "I know the President is calling on the American public to conserve gasoline by driving less and he even sent a memo to all federal agency and department heads saying, the federal government, quote, 'must lead by example and further contribute to the relief effort by reducing its own fuel use during this difficult time.' How much political pressure is the President under given these rising fuel costs?"
Russert: "Enormous, Katie. It's the one issue that cuts across all class and geographic lines and as we just heard in Alexis' report it's not only gasoline cost for this fall but come this winter particularly in the Midwest and Northeast there's expectations that fuel heating costs can go up as much as 70 percent. Enormous political pressure. Why? Those are the battleground, undecided states that Republicans must continue to control to retain and control both houses of Congress."
[Katie Couric talking with Anthony Mason on the CBS Evening News, March 23, 2011 – President in question? Barack Obama]
Couric claimed they would "show you who is driving them [gas prices] up" before uttering the scary word "speculation." The "Grim Reaper" of CBS, Anthony Mason, went on to report that oil futures trading is increasing the cost of oil, and therefore gasoline. He interviewed Michael Greenberger formerly of CFTC who said "It is accelerating the price of oil products, gasoline, heating oil, crude oil, and other energy products, for no good reason."
Will gasoline prices be a problem for Obama?
The Los Angeles Times reports [7 April 2011] that White House fears gas prices could tank Obama. But they can’t be that worried. Here is a bit from an AP report on yesterday’s energy event in Fairless Hills, PA:
- Obama needled one questioner who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle. "If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know," Obama said laughingly. "You might want to think about a trade-in."
Obama insisted that “There is no magic formula to driving gas prices down.” That is true. But there are also things the government can do that will drive the price of gas up. And the Obama administration has done many of them including:
- Immediately after taking office in 2009, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, canceled 77 leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah.
- The EPA announced new rules mandating the use of 36 billion gallons worth of renewable fuels (like ethanol) by 2020.
- Last summer President Obama needlessly instituted, not one, but two outright drilling bans in the Gulf of Mexico.
- After rescinding his outright offshore drilling ban, President Obama has refused to issue any new drilling permits in the Gulf, a policy that the Energy Information Administration estimates will cut domestic offshore oil production by 13% this year
- Interior Secretary Salazar announced that the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast, and the Pacific coast will not be developed, effectively banning drilling in those areas for the next seven years;
- The Environmental Protection Agency has announced new global warming regulations for oil refineries
- Interior Secretary Salazar announced new rules making it more difficult to develop energy resources on federal land.
- The EPA is slowing a pipeline that would expand U.S. access to Canadian oil sands.
The link below is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration – it shows fuel prices from January, 2000 thru last month……
The EPA denied Shell the right to drill in remote Alaska (70 miles from the nearest village, population 245) after Shell invested 4 billion in research and exploration. An estimated 27 BILLION barrels of oil are located in the reserve according to the US geological survey.
Shell loses; the American consumer loses.