It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to imagine, in any election year, a more vapid, patronizing, intellectually dishonest, geared-to-the-uninformed and silly campaign than John Kerry is running. (My Way News: "Kerry Blames Bush for High Gas Prices" This is only one example, but check Today's WSJ for the real story on oil. Along with Kerry, Chuck Schumer and other masters of schadenfreude are attempting to gin up an issue where there is none, and where, in fact the president can't really make a big difference. Opening the oil reserves to bring down oil prices was Schumer's particular cause celebre the last time we had a spike, and it made less difference than regular market forces finally did. Sure oil prices are high, but blame OPEC, not Bush. Hearing Kerry bellow about how the current prices have something to do with Halliburton Corporation is clear evidence of how full of crap he is, and how little he thinks of his supporters to lie to them this way.
I really wish this country would quit looking to the government to solve every problem that comes along, and stop listening to politicians who continually attribute deity-like power to the president, thereby inferring that bad things happen because the president didn't "do enough to stop it." When it comes to Al Quaeda, maybe we could have been better prepared, had better intelligence, etc., but GAS PRICES? C'mon.
If you really want to know the scoop on why gas prices are so high, here's the short version from the WSJ article:
Most important, demand has skyrocketed. Not only in the U.S., where economic growth has been gangbusters, but also in China, which has leapt ahead of Japan to become the second largest oil market in the world. While there is some debate about whether China is consuming oil or using it to build a strategic stockpile, the result is the same strong demand. China's growth has also sparked an economic recovery and higher oil demand in the rest of Asia. Count India, too, as an increasingly oil-thirsty economy.
This roaring demand has not been met with increasing production. Blame that mostly on OPEC. The oil cartel has been smarting over the fall of the dollar against the euro. That, of course, reduces dollar-denominated oil revenues and increases the incentive to keep supplies tight. With prices at or above $28 per barrel--the upper-bound of OPEC's target range--the Saudis, for example, ran a budget surplus for the first time in decades.
Inventories are also low. The U.S. has not yet recovered from the disruption in crude and refined products from Venezuela last year. And tight inventories exaggerate any changes in supply at the margin.
Read the whole thing and be enlightened.