9 May 2006

The peak oil crisis: a frenzy in Washington | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

The peak oil crisis: a frenzy in Washington | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse: "Last week the peak oil phenomenon reached a turning point when official Washington began to realize it has a problem. The problem, however, is currently being framed as high-gas-prices-going-into-the-next-election rather than worldwide oil depletion. Thus the first round of solutions being proposed ranged from the bizarre to unachievable.

The fun started on Sunday of last week, right after oil has reached a new high of $75 a barrel, when Senator Arlen Specter said the US should back a plan to tax away the excess profits of the oil companies. The senator opined that that the US has allowed too many oil companies to merge so that we have reduced competition and higher prices.

On Monday, Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan revealed that the President had directed the Energy and Justice Departments to investigate 'illegal manipulation of gasoline markets' and that the President would unveil a set of plans the next day to deal with high oil prices.

On Tuesday morning, the Washington Post weighed in with a story on how the President and congressional Republicans were beginning to feel the heat from high gas prices and were starting to fear what the electorate would do next November. After consulting various energy experts, the Post concluded that anything the President or Congress could do to increase the supply of oil or reduce demand would take years to have an impact.

Later that day, the President appeared before the Renewable Fuels Association to announce his plan for dealing with $3+ gasoline prices. In addition to the previously announced efforts to root out illegal price gougers and oil company collusion, the President said he would temporarily suspend the requirement to replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with oil that had been borro"

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