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Energy Politics: Oil on Troubled Waters

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A brief summary on energy politics from Swoop:

Amid growing public discomfort with the direction of US trade policy and economic slow down, high gasoline prices have emerged as a key domestic touchstone. Although the Energy Information Agency is forecasting a moderating of prices in 2009, political leaders from both parties have grasped at the issue as a means of distinguishing themselves from the Administration. Senate Democrats have sought to link high pump prices for consumers to the profit margins of energy traders and major oil companies, and hence to their alleged political allies in the White House. House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been joined by a number of Republican lawmakers to legislation that has caused the Administration to suspend filling Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The issue of oil prices has also emerged as a major source of contention amongst the Presidential candidates. Senator McCain and Senator Clinton in particular have competing proposals to suspend gasoline taxes over the summer holidays (to be paid for, in Clinton’s case, through windfall taxes on oil companies). US commentators are pointing to a growing gap between the political rhetoric and the core issue of global supply and demand dynamics. This is echoed by the White House, which has reinforced its advocacy of expanding domestic drilling while pointing to diplomatic efforts to encourage major suppliers such as Saudi Arabia to boost production. However, given the reluctance of the Gulf producers to heed US requests, officials acknowledge they expect that high prices will last for some months.

Irancove @ May 19, 2008

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