FLASHBACK 2000: Canidate Bush Tells President Clinton How To Handle OPEC

"In a feeble attempt to appease the public this week, Bush said he will temporarily divert oil used to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve into the market to drive prices down."

by Evelyn Pringle

While on the campaign trail in 2000, Bush told President Bill Clinton how to handle OPEC, in public no less. “What I think the president ought to do," he said, "is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots."

And in a brilliant, highly educational follow-up comment, Bush informed the audience: "One reason why the price is so high is because the price of crude oil has been driven up."

"OPEC has gotten its supply act together," Bush advised listeners, "and it's driving the price, like it did in the past."

"And," he said in direct advice to Clinton, "the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the prices."

Apparently, Bush has lost the phone numbers for OPEC members, or they are refusing to take his calls, because I think its safe to assume that he did not "jawbone" members of the OPEC cartel.

That said, if Bush is not in the mood for "jawboning," he could at least use a little pillow talk with his buddies in Saudi Arabia and get them to open the spigots.

During campaign 2000, Bush told Americans that he had an energy plan that would reduce gas prices at the pumps and here we sit 5 years later, with the highest prices in history.

The high energy costs are affecting everyone, from commuters and consumers, to public and private programs. The damage is devastating everywhere.

Since Bush took office, gas prices have increased 62.5% from $1.44 per gallon in January 2001 to $2.34 in March 2006. The average household with children will spend about $3,343 on transportation fuel costs this year, an increase of 75% since 2001, according to the Energy Information Administration, Retail Gasoline Prices, and Household Vehicle Energy Use: Latest Data and Trends, November 2005.

Read more: Media Monitors Network.

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