Greasy Oil-Man in Chief

The AP reports that President Bush has suspended deposits to the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserve in an attempt to lower prices.

Bush also announced steps to ease environmental standards governing fuel grades.

The moves came as political pressure intensified on Bush to do something about gasoline prices that are expected to stay high throughout the summer.

Bush said the nation's strategic petroleum reserve had enough fuel to guard against any major supply disruption over the next few months.

"So, by deferring deposits until the fall, we'll leave a little more oil on the market. Every little bit helps," he said.
Every sentence there deserves a paragraph about why they're bad for America.

Easing environmental standards is a bad solution. It won't really lower prices, it will be bad for the environment, and most importantly, once these standards are lowered, they're very hard to raise back up again.

Taking oil from the Strategic Reserves is about as smart as eating the seed set aside for next years planting. Come fall, when the reserves will need to be refilled, less oil will be on the market. Prices will go up. But I'm sure that will be after the election. Additionally, having those reserves is strategic only if they're maintained. Of course Bush has never been especially good at strategery.

Additionally, the Washington Post reports that Bush has ordered a Price Gouging investigation of the Gas industry.
President Bush has asked the Energy and Justice departments to investigate whether gasoline prices have been illegally manipulated, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters this morning.

The White House is also asking states to guard against unfair pricing.
This will, no doubt, be window dressing. The relevant authorities will go through all the motions, find that only Market Forces, praise their name, are responsible for these increased prices. Republicans can pretend they're doing something while protecting corporate profits. Everybody wins - except you know, real people.

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