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from Daily Mislead
April 2, 2004

As a presidential candidate in 2000, George Bush pledged to use his "political capital" to influence OPEC when gas prices soared, saying that during a crisis, a president, "ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say, 'We expect you to open your spigots" (1). But with gas prices soaring in the United States (2), newspapers report the White House now says the president refuses to "personally lobby oil cartel leaders to change their minds" (3).

With the president refusing to do anything about the situation, OPEC opted this week to cut supply to further inflate gas prices and bilk American consumers (4). While Saudi Arabia's ambassador told the White House yesterday that his country supposedly opposed higher oil prices, the president's refusal to use his close relations with the Saudi government gave the Saudis a pass to support the OPEC production cut (5). Despite the Saudi effort to keep American energy prices high - and despite their ties to terror groups (6) - the President continues to insist that the Saudi Arabia is "our friend" (7).

During his term, the president has pursued other policies that help enrich the oil industry, which has given him more than $3 million since 2000 (8). For instance, his tax legislation actually created a massive tax incentive for consumers to purchase gas-guzzling SUVs over fuel efficient hybrid cars (9). Meanwhile, the first budget President Bush introduced after taking office tried to cut 37%, (almost $200 million), out of federal research on renewable energy and energy efficiency programs (10).

Sources: 1. "OPEC to cut back despite high prices", Washington Times, 04/01/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26079.
2. "Surging Gas Prices Pump Up Political Debate" Los Angeles Times, 03/31/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26080.
3. "Bush Refuses to Lean on Oil Cartel" Miami Herald, 04/01/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26081.
4. "OPEC cut to oil output likely to keep prices near record levels", Dallas Morning News, 04/01/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26082.
5. "Saudi envoy plays nice with White House on oil supply", USA Today, 04/02/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26083.
6. "The Saudi Connection", US News and World Report, 12/15/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26084.
7. President Bush Vows to Bring Terrorists to Justice, 05/15/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26085.
8. OpenSecrets.Org, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26086.
9. "SUV, truck owners get a big tax break", Detroit News, 12/18/2002, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26087.
10. "Proposed Bush Budget Cuts Renewables and Energy Efficiency Programs", Resources for the Future, 04/11/2001, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=26088.

Posted: April 6, 2004


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