President Bush Surprised by $4 Gas

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

Predictions that the price of gas will soar to four dollars a gallon have been circulating for days. According to the CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer’s blog , the President isn’t in the loop. “Responding to this reporter's questions at a White House news conference today, Mr. Bush said he had not heard about analysts' predictions of the potential for $4-a-gallon gas later this spring when refiners re-formulate fuel blends for summer driving.” In fact… “CBS News radio affiliate KCBS in San Francisco reports regular is selling for $4.23 at a San Mateo, Calif., service station where premium goes for $4.43.” Considering that Bush is a former oil man who once owned Arbusto Energy, served as CEO of Spectrum 7 Energy, consulted for Harken Energy and receives briefings from, well, whoever he likes, you’d think he’d stay on top of this one. If so, you thought wrong.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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  • William C Montgomery William C Montgomery on Feb 29, 2008
    Since when does any politician get a free pass? To hold a public office and not expect criticism is unrealistic. Here in the U.S., we’ve a time-honored tradition of criticizing elected officials, be it the President of the United States of America, or your local school board (who are elected officials, in these parts, anyway). You’re right. In America we prefer our politicians to pretend that they know everything about everything, even though they don’t, and prefer for them to pretend that they have absolute control over everything when they don’t. Remember darling, it’s better to look good than to feel good. Anyway, I wasn’t looking to criticize you for blogging this story. It is what it is. But I’m bothered by the inevitable chorus of howling monkeys who have nothing more to say than Bush is an idiot. Please everyone; criticize his policies and effectiveness as President. Doing so requires some intelligence, understanding, and analysis. I love to read witty critiques. But warming over the stale joke that Bush is cognitively challenged is simplistic and itself moronic.
  • William C Montgomery William C Montgomery on Feb 29, 2008
    William, your point would be a good one but for the fact the thrust of the news piece was that Bush was not aware that analysts were predicting $4 gas. (emphasis mine) Okay. CBS News reported: “AAA spokesman Geoff Sundstrom told the Times it was possible gasoline prices could hit $4 a gallon this summer.” That reads to me more like an over-reported musing than a serious forecast. Is a possibility the same as a prediction? Let me be the first to say that it is possible that gasoline prices won’t hit $4 a gallon this summer. It’s also possible that gasoline prices will top $4.25 this summer. However, many OPEC ministers predict that softness in the US economy will depress consumption and that oil prices will begin fall. Any way it goes, I hope that GWB isn’t getting his industry forecasts from CBS News.
  • Bjcpdx Bjcpdx on Feb 29, 2008

    Bush is a lot of things, but he's not stupid or ill-informed. His claim that he has not heard about the analysts' predictions is either a lie or he sees no need to waste time listening to outside analysts. That he probably doesn't know the price to the penny in San Mateo is neither here nor there. He knows exactly where oil and gasoline prices are overall and where they're likely to be in the future. The higher they go, the happier he and his big-oil buddies are. Record oil company profits are not attained by lowering the price at the pump.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Feb 29, 2008

    A little of topic (I don't feel like arguing politics tonight), another engineer who I work with used to work at an oil refinery, and he said the higher gas prices due to reformulation for summer is bunch of Barbara Streisand (B.S.) in his opinion. He said that the refineries are prepared for the switch, as it happens every year, and it is no big deal, at least from an operations perspective. A little food for thought.