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Texas Governor George W. Bush, June 23, 2000, blaming the Clinton administration for high gas prices because they were in office for seven years and gas prices were rising:

There seems to be an effort out of Washington to blame me for rising energy prices. And the American people don't buy that. It's the -- Clinton-Gore administration's been there for seven years, we're more dependent now than ever before on energy from foreign sources. And I am amazed that they're trying to shift the blame away from the people that are holding the office. And I resent that kind of politics, and so will the American people. ... And this is typical of an administration that refuses to accept responsibility. This is amazing. They've been in office for seven years, the price of gasoline has gone up during their period of time.

The price of gas that very week: $1.68 per gallon.

Now, the Bush administration has been in office for six and a half years. Prices at the pump have almost doubled since Bush blamed Clinton and Gore, reaching $3.10 a gallon (hitting over $4 in some areas). Well, under Bush 2000's logic, the president is to blame. Think that Bush 2007 would agree to that evaluation now? Think he would be willing to "accept responsibility"?

And it's not as if he's really been trying or anything, as if he's been on the case since day one. Only in the past year or two has Bush even made sounds about acting on high gas prices, and so far virtually nothing has materialized. Bush's biggest policy proposal, called "20-in-10," suggests that we cut fuel consumption by 20% over the next ten years. No relief for today or anytime within the remaining year and a half of this administration. Although refinery capacity was identified from the start of the Bush administration as the biggest culprit one of the biggest culprits of rising fuel prices (PDF file), Bush has done absolutely nothing to remedy the problem, and today, the refinery shortage is worse than ever.

Bush 2007 says:

Our dependence on oil creates a risk for our economy, because a supply disruption anywhere in the world could drive up American gas prices to even more painful levels.

Boy, it's too bad that Bush didn't think about lessening dependency on foreign sources of crude oil back in 2000. Bush 2000, don't you agree?

I think we ought to make sure that we become less dependent on foreign sources of crude oil. I'll have an energy policy.

Oopsie! Too bad you let Cheney get the heads of the oil companies to write that policy!

You might expect that conservatives would argue that, after all, being in office for any amount of time does not equal culpability. But then, who expects conservatives to do anything but blame Democrats?

Fox News Headline: "Pain at the Pump: Gas Prices Rise on Democrats' Watch." Yes, apparently those damn Democrats have had a 51% majority in Congress for four months and gas prices have shot up during that time! Damn those Democrats! It's all their fault!

  • - - - -

This post is a version of my blog post for today in The Blog from Another Dimension.

Originally posted to BlogD on Wed May 16, 2007 at 07:26 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republicans in Congress... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, Judge Moonbox least did try to pass a new refinery bill to encourage new refineries to be built. They even did one of their infamous hold-the-vote-open-until-we-can-twist-arms procedures, and the bill squeaked by, by just two votes. The bill died in the Senate. Not that the bill would have accomplished anything, and it was saturated with sops to the oil industry:

    The legislation will streamline government permits for refineries, open federal lands for future refinery construction, weaken environmental protections, and offer subsidies to build refineries even though oil companies are making record profits Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts called the legislation the "leave-no-oilman-behind bill." The bill would also limit the power of community or citizen groups because if they filed a lawsuit to challenge the location of a refinery they would be required to pay an oil company's legal costs whether they win or lose the lawsuit.

    Most likely, it would have simply allowed the oil companies to take even more tax breaks and violate even more environmental standards while not building a single new refinery.

    And oh yeah, that was in 2005, four years after Bush took office. As far as I can tell, they didn't follow up. Anyone know if they ever did? Or have the goods on what Bush has done rather than just said on the whole refinery issue?

    "Those who hate and fight must stop themselves, Doctor; otherwise it is not stopped." -- Mr. Spock

    by BlogD on Wed May 16, 2007 at 07:23:29 PM PDT

  •  I was waiting for somebody to blame gas prices (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox, Akonitum

    on the Democrats. Might have known that it would be fox noise to do it first.  Probably because noron o'donnell is on maternity leave.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Wed May 16, 2007 at 07:42:18 PM PDT

  •  If Gore was President,... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the Repubs would be howling about inflation before gas hit $2.00. And that point would have come a lot later, since Gore wouldn't have neglected conservation and public transit as weapons to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

    Poster child for the "If I'm so Smart, Why Ain't I Rich" Syndrome.

    by Judge Moonbox on Wed May 16, 2007 at 07:45:48 PM PDT

    •  Hell, If Any Dem Had Done What Bush Has Done... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      retrograde, Judge Moonbox

      Republicans' heads would have exploded after the first year. They would have tried multiple impeachments by now. They simply would not have been able to co-exist in the same multiverse with such a creature. There would be daily meltdowns, and the screams of outrage could be heard even through a vacuum.

      "Those who hate and fight must stop themselves, Doctor; otherwise it is not stopped." -- Mr. Spock

      by BlogD on Wed May 16, 2007 at 07:54:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  nope; it's peak oil + wasteful consumption (4+ / 0-)

    We can legitimately blame Bush for failing utterly to do anything for energy efficiency (when was the last time that CAFE standards were raised?), and for failing utterly to do anything for energy independence (how many new nuclear plants have come online in the last 7 years?).


    The underlying reason gas prices are going up is that world oil supply has just about peaked.  See also a detailed analysis at (or .org?), the Ghawar field in Saudi has apparently maxed out.  

    Peak oil means we've extracted about half the world's reserves, it gets more difficult and expensive to extract the rest, and we can expect no further sustained growth in extraction rates.

    Yet world demand for energy continues to increase at 3-1/2% per year.

    Supply stagnant and about to decline.  Demand growing.  Classic setup for increasing prices of anything, whether oil or anything else.  

    Meanwhile, we are still profligately wasting gas, with 50% of cars on the road being SUVs, and with the best available mileage at present being the Prius at 60 city and about 50 highway.  Yet back in the 1950s, microcars such as the BMW Isetta and Messerschmitt Kabinenroller routinely got 75 to 85 mpg, and a few years ago VW unveiled a demo 2-seater (with design influences from the Messerschmitt) that got THREE HUNDRED TWELVE miles per gallon.  VW's diesel Lupo gets 100 mpg but is not available in the US (instead they give us the bloated gas-guzzling Toureg SUV).  

    Those are the underlying factors:  peak oil and wasteful consumption.  

    The bottom line is, gas prices are going to keep going up until we radically reform our petroleum consumption habits and bring other sources of energy online (expanded nuclear, solar, wind).  

    The price of the Iraq war could have paid for:  150 new nuclear reactors, 100,000 utility-scale wind turbines, and 5,000,000 (five million) solar rooftoops.  

    And that's the kind of effort we're going to need to make in the foreseeable future.  

    The days of cheap energy and carefree pleasure trips in cars the size of living rooms, are OVER.  Deader than Jerry Falwell.  

    •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

      Then refinery shortages are "one of the biggest culprits" then. Still, my main point stands.

      "Those who hate and fight must stop themselves, Doctor; otherwise it is not stopped." -- Mr. Spock

      by BlogD on Wed May 16, 2007 at 07:56:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're both right (0+ / 0-)

        Increases until this May have been global, so they are primarily because of unshrinking American demand (25% of the worlds's annual oil production and 40% of the world's gasoline) pushing up the price for everyone everywhere.

        But the increase of the past few weeks is all about refineries, I believe. It hasn't been mirrored in higher world prices, or at-the-pump rises in other nations. I'm outside the USA and currently paying about 8% less than I paid this time last year. Many Americans are paying 10% more than they did last May.

        Choose tags for your diaries easily with the Tagfinder.

        by retrograde on Wed May 16, 2007 at 08:05:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Those are the underlying factors:  peak oil and wasteful consumption.

      Another factor is our widespread addiction to exponential growth. Future's bottleneck will squeeze every next president, regardless of party affiliation.

      Are Humans Smarter Than Yeast? (video clip: 8.5min)

      •  As I said, Granted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And the diary edited to reflect this. But the main point stands that Bush hasn't done anything at all, and blamed the Clinton/Gore administration in a manner that applies equally to his own administration today. A President Gore would obviously have done a hell of a lot more. Whether anything would have been effective by now is debatable, perhaps--but at the very least an effort would have been made, and Republicans would be excoriating Gore all the same.

        "Those who hate and fight must stop themselves, Doctor; otherwise it is not stopped." -- Mr. Spock

        by BlogD on Wed May 16, 2007 at 08:05:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The price rise of the past few weeks is unusual (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in that unlike most rises which are global and based on the world spot price, the May spike has happened without a rise in the world price. Gas prices in other nations have not increased in May.

    As this graph from my diary today shows:

    The ratio of American at-the-pump price (cents/gal) to world spot price ($/barrel) is usually 3.9 to 4.5. Because this rise is not due to world prices, that ratio has now jumped to 5.0 - in just three weeks.

    Choose tags for your diaries easily with the Tagfinder.

    by retrograde on Wed May 16, 2007 at 07:59:53 PM PDT

  •  Oil Companies are Colluding to Starve Supply (0+ / 0-)

    Oil companies have been planning this profiteering for a decade. They refuse to build refineries knowing full well that demand will not go down. They merge into only 6 company fronts and pretend to be independant when they all dip the gas out of the same buckets. They own the oil from the ground to your car. This is pure market manipulation. It is illegal immoral and unethical as well as highly unpatriotic. The only monsters less patriotic are the politicians who accept the donation/bribes and let this crime be commited upon us. They knew this was coming and did nothing to protect us. Still they sit on their hands while the coming crisis looms larger daily. Start some recall elections on the representatives that you know are falling down on the job. This is America We are the boss. Push their corrupt butts out of office and get some genuine representation. Why wait for the next election? You abused types always think, he says the right things, I can't be mean he might stop the abuse. You all suffer from abused wife syndrome. when you wake up I expect some old bums will be rolling

  •  Peak oil (0+ / 0-)

    means why bother expanding refinery capacity. Better to make as much $ as they can now, since apparently short-term thinking is all that matters.

    What I can't understand is why big oil won't spend some of it's obscene profits to invest in alternative energy sources. They know they won't have any oil left-why aren't the building a new market...oh, that's right-they only do short-term thinking.

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