Here’s a cravenly political move:
The Bush administration is moving toward releasing oil from the nation’s emergency stockpiles as a result of disruptions to production and imports caused by Hurricane Ivan.
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said yesterday afternoon that he had authorized negotiations with refiners for oil to be loaned on a short-term basis from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Officials said the Energy Department had received requests from refiners who said they were running short on supply.
At least “cravenly political” was my first instinct. Here we are, at the end of summer, when gas prices usually ease all by themselves. But this is no ordinary end of summer – oh, no. This end of summer also signals the beginning of Presidential Campaign Season. In fact, I remember Clinton doing something similar in the Fall of ’00 to help Gore. It’s called “the advantage of incumbency.”
(To abuse a bad old joke about tourists: if it’s campaign season, why can’t we shoot the candidates? Anyway.)
My next thought was, a lot of the Gulf Coast got hammered recently. We refine a lot of petroleum down there.
Third thought: Well, at least they have a good excuse for a cravenly political move.
Fourth thought: My drink is almost empty.