Its All Politics
Buried on the front page of today's (10/3/2006) Wall Street Journal is a blurb that the Energy Department is delaying its purchases of oil to replace the strategic reserve that was tapped after Hurricane Katrina. The reason is help reduce prices. Deferring the purchase will not lower prices - but it will not increase prices either. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas has dropped $.70 a gallon since the start of August. The strategic reserve will be replaced after November's election when there is no immediate political cost to a price increase. It would be prudent to replace the reserve now when oil is more than 20% off its high, but this administration has proved over and over that politics trumps prudence.