Bush panicks as oil prices soar


Every little bit of oil helps – even approval ratings: Mr Bush,
whose approval rating, according to the latest Gallup poll, has sunk to
a low for his presidency of 32 per cent, proposed to free up oil being
added to the country’s emergency reserve and also instructed the
Justice Department to pursue possible price gouging. “We’ll leave a
little bit more oil on the market by halting deliveries to the
reserves,” Mr Bush said in a speech in Washington to a trade group of
ethanol producers. “Every little bit helps.”

Pressure on supplies likely to continue: But critics said they
doubted that stopping the addition to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
of some 25,000 barrels a day would make a difference to soaring prices.
The approaching US summer driving season is adding to pressures on
supplies. Gasoline inventories in the US are under pressure. They have
fallen for the past seven weeks and another drop would add to concerns
in the market,

The Australian Financial Review, 27/4/2006, p. 12

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