Bush blames Congress for oil prices; OPEC says crude may hit $200

| 4/29/2008

President George W. Bush blamed congressional Democrats Tuesday, April 29, for high oil prices and renewed his call for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve in Alaska.

Bloomberg News reported Bush also dismissed bipartisan calls to stop adding more oil to the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve, saying “I don’t think it would affect price.”

Jim Johnston, president and CEO of OOIDA, wrote to the president in January asking that he stop diverting oil to the reserve. Members of Congress have also asked Bush to stop the diversions temporarily so that more crude would be available for fuel production, which they say would lower diesel and gasoline prices.

Meanwhile, Big Oil continues to post record profits. For the first quarter of this year, BP Amoco LLC made $6.6 billion in profits. In the same 90-day period, Shell Oil Co. hauled in $7.8 billion in profits.

On the other side of the globe, the president of OPEC warned this week that the price of oil could go to $200 per barrel. The Financial Times quoted Algeria’s oil minister as saying the recent run-up in price is largely due to the current weakness of the U.S. dollar.

He said that every time the dollar drops in value by 1 percent, the price of a barrel of oil goes up by $4. On Tuesday, April 29, oil was trading around $117 per barrel in New York at midday.