Bush takes on high gas prices

Sarah Gardner Apr 26, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Federal figures due this morning are expected to show that U.S. gasoline supplies fell for the 8th week in a row. The falling numbers come amid a public outcry over rising gas prices and new short-term proposals from President Bush aimed at increasing supply. But oil analysts say the President’s plans will do little to cut costs at the pump. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sarah Gardner reports.

SARAH GARDNER: President Bush is taking several steps to try and bring down gas prices. They include a temporary halt to filling up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the nation’s emergency stockpile.

Bush says deferring deposits until the fall will “leave a little more oil on the market.” But David Pursell, with Pickering Energy Partners in Houston, says government officials haven’t been filling the reserve for a while now.

DAVID PURSELL:They’ve been sensitive about being out in the market buying oil in a fairly hot commodity environment. So not filling the SPR is just political rhetoric because we weren’t filling it to begin with.

Bush is also pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to ease some clean-fuel rules and has ordered a probe into possible price gouging. But analysts say these actions probably won’t help consumers much. They’re still predicting average gas prices will top $3 a gallon this summer.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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