Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bush Probe into “Rational” Oil Market Pricing Might Reveal Irrationality

Dear President Bush,

As a longtime defender of free markets and their rationality, are you concerned about the seeming irrationality of rapidly rising gas and oil prices when you order Justice and Energy department investigations into possible cheating?

Will this investigation be any different that the litany of compromised White House analysis conducted in the past? You threw a big bone to The Carlyle Group by not mentioning 24 patient deaths in their LifeCare Hospital in New Orleans. What bones are you prepared to throw at the big oils?

Are you ready to be identified a cause of the problem, a la the poor Hurricane Katrina response? At their meeting yesterday OPEC ministers said the solution to high prices lies in a calmer international environment and boosting refining capacity. You have led the stirring of international waters, joined by the equally inflammatory President of Iran.

The cycle of demands and counter demands escalates as the deadline for Iran to stop nuclear enrichment sits just days away. Iran responds by exclaiming its intent to share nuclear technology with other countries as it is “a great success for the world of Islam”.

The United States and Israel raised Middle Eastern tension in their “dealings to” the new Palestinian elected government. The U.N. Envoy for the region cited recent dangerous deterioration in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I noted a press release from the Department of Energy yesterday on its plans to purchase more oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. They plan to go from the current 687.3 million barrels all the way up to 1 billion barrels of oil.

What impact might these purchases have on supply and prices? Do you have a target date by which the SPR should hit the billion barrel goal? Might you want the U.S. to have a little extra oil on hand should you attack Iran’s nuclear facilities? You realize, that wouldn’t lead to a calmer international environment. It could even lead to the first world war of the 21st century.

So what are you thinking at the moment? Is it “Peace is the Way” or “Lock and Load”? Only the rational oil market knows….

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