Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bush Still Has Gas

President Bush has made some proposals to attempt to alliviate gas pump prices. With pump prices over $3 per gallon in some parts of the country, Bush said on Tuesday he would boost gasoline supplies by letting regulators relax clean fuels rules temporarily if state governors ask. He said he would free up more crude oil by delaying deliveries into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Bush also called for the repeal of $2 billion in tax breaks for profit-heavy oil companies. He also urged lawmakers to expand tax breaks for the purchase of fuel-efficient hybrid automobiles.

These moves will do little if nothing to bring down the price of gasoline. I can't argue with repealing the tax breaks to the oil companies, why they gave them in the first place was completely asinine. But that won't lower gas prices, it will only minimally cut into their massive profits. Bush relaxing clean air regulations will do nothing except add to pollution. Expanding tax breaks for hybrids is fine with me, but that is a long term solution, not immediate.

If you read experts reactions to Bush's proposals, one thing comes across as uniformly agreed, that crude oil prices are to blame for high gasoline pump prices. No suprise there. Experts blame futures market that are taking into account hot spot supplies such as Iraq, Nigeria and Iran.

With the past weeks bluster about Iran the price of crude oil has risen. In effect the Bush Administrations war talk toward Iran has caused higher crude oil prices. Their threats have only made Iran richer, good move Bushies. It's also made most Americans poorer due to paying higher prices at the pump.

The Bush hardass, public diplomacy toward Iran is failing, costing us more money and enriching Iran. The Bush diplomacy as to Iran is all stick, no carrot. It's long been time the Bushies talk directly to the Iranians and do the tough work of actual negotiations. And that's the basic problem with the Bushies, they avoid the tough road. They just want to publicly bash Iran, playing to American voters rather than dealing directly with a regime they hate. Yet, they finally figured out that they had to deal with North Korea, the hardass tactics didn't work. Now you never hear about North Korea.

It's been no secret that crude oil prices are going to rise in the coming decade. If you've read anything about peak oil production, the reality is that supply is going to increasingly lag behind demand. But these quick jumps in prices are directly tied to Bush foreign policy in the Middle East. We could have crude oil prices rise over the next decade in a slower more uniform way, but not as long as Bush runs things.


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