We have said it before and we will say it again. Once an oilman always an oilman. You can’t get crude out from your veins.

Yesterday, in a sop to his oil industry buddies, George W. Bush lifted an executive order banning oil exploration in US waters.

It was a political move aimed at ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to give its consent to ending its own separate 28-year moratorium on offshore drilling. “The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the US Congress,” said Mr Bush. “Now the ball is squarely in Congress’s court”.

Oil is becoming a hot political topic. The Republican party has made the push to expand domestic oil production a flagship policy ahead of November’s election, amid mounting public concern at soaring energy prices.

But the Obama campaign argues that lifting the ban would have little impact because it would take years for new ­offshore production to come online and the volumes would not make the US energy ­independent. “It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for 30 years,” said an Obama spokesman.

The oil heads at the American Petroleum Institute welcomed the news. “We encourage Congress to pass a common-sense and effective long-term energy policy designed to increase conservation and energy efficiency,” said API spokeswoman Judy Penniman.

While the oil companies tried to blame lack of exploration opportunities on the oil price. “Lack of access to responsible production is a root cause of our continuing energy shortfall,” said Shell Oil in a statement. “As we have seen, limited supply and increased demand can lead to shortages and higher prices.”

Its only two months ago that Shell said that the oil price raise was NOT due to supply shortages. As we blogged in May: “The record oil price of $135 a barrel is due to “market sentiment” rather than a shortage of supply” said Shell’s chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer.

The oil companies will say anything to justify getting their hands on more acreage. And Bush will do anything to assist his old buddies. And neither will solve the problem.


  • It doesn’t matter what the oil companies said or didn’t say, we need oil now and at affordable prices for the next twenty or so years until other forms of energy become available, and are affordable. President Bush knows the basics of Economics 101, larger the supply (or anticipation of a larger supply), lower the price. Well, the price of oil is beginning to level off, and I’m sure it’s due in part to the president’s threat to drill here. Now we need to get congress to do its part and do what the majority of people in this country want, that is, drill for more of our own oil, even if it takes us ten years to do it, damn it. Drilling will result in lower gas prices, I guarantee it, as the oil supply slowly begins to increase. Since world markets are very fluid, they will react to any potential change in supply no matter how small and how long it may take to get it up and running. If the world sees us getting serious about oil, the market place will react and prices begin to fall.

  • More supply = lower prices. What do people and congress not understand? If President Clinton had not vetoed the drilling bill in 1995, we would be self-sufficent now. We need to drill for our own oil, until we develop other forms of energy that are real and that are affordable.

  • Gerry Fitzpatric is a moron. To suggest that our “President” knows economics 101 is an insult to anyone with 2 brain cells to bump together. Not only does he not know economics 101, he doesn’t even SUSPECT Economics 101-or any thing else! The reason oil prices are “leveling out” is because Congress finally closed the ENRON “loophole” which has let oil “speculators” drive the price of oil up. Don’t EVER give the “President” credit for knowing ANYTHING (unless he actually PROVES he knows it. Remember, when he became “President”, gas cost less than a buck where I live-Look at it now. The blame can’t be placed exclusively at the feet of OPEC-and credit can’t and should’nt be thrown at the “President”.

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