The Senate Democratic leadership sent a letter to President Bush today asking him to talk to Saudi Arabia during his Middle Eastern trip about increasing the supply of oil in the current market. Saudi Arabia has an excess capacity of 2 million barrels of oil per day that they aren’t using.
The Democrats want Bush to pressure Saudi Arabia into putting more oil on the market, “Last month, Saudi Arabia announced a five-year effort to expand its oil industry and to boost capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day by the end of next year. But the Kingdom also announced it would continue to maintain a 2 million barrel-per-day spare production capacity to be used when there is an unexpected need. With the price of crude oil at record levels and American drivers paying nearly $4 per gallon, we hope you would agree that such a time of unexpected need has come.”
The letter signed by Sens. Reid, Durban, Schumer, and Murray reminded the president of something he said before he took office, “Before your first inauguration, you told the American people that you would be able to use your relationships in the oil industry to be more effective at convincing OPEC to increase its production of oil. Unfortunately, despite recent entreaties by you and Vice President Cheney, OPEC has voted three times in the last year against raising production, meaning rising gas prices continue to sap a greater portion of Americans’ paychecks.”
The letter asked Bush to convince the Saudis to release some of their spare capacity, “The American people need your leadership on this issue now more than ever. We hope that you will put this concern at the top of your agenda during your meetings in Saudi Arabia, and that you convince the Saudis to release some of their spare capacity to cool the markets and give some relief to America’s drivers.”
This letter reminded me of a junkie asking for another hit so that they can get through the day. Both Congressional Democrats and Republicans seem to have no interest in implementing a real solution to this problem. Their only answer is to quibble over where the nation can get more oil.
What if the price of oil comes back down? Does this mean that we can ignore our dependence on foreign oil until the next time prices shoot up? President Bush doesn’t care about gas prices, and Congress only wants to lower the cost of gas, so that Americans can get their fix pain free.
As we all know, when Americans are in pain, we tend to vote our politicians out of office, and this is the fear motivating most Congressional proposals. America like any other addict is facing a choice. We either have to get clean or die.
Full Text of Democrats Letter to Bush: