George W. Bush, in 2000 says:
"Gov. George W. Bush of Texas said today that if he was president, he would bring down gasoline prices through sheer force of personality, by creating enough political good will with oil-producing nations that they would increase their supply of crude.
''I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply,'' Mr. Bush, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, told reporters here today. ''Use the capital that my administration will earn, with the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, and convince them to open up the spigot.
Thanks to Hilzoy for that, and he adds:
"Honestly, it's not always hard to spot a bad President coming. If we had paid less attention to who we wanted to have a beer with, Al Gore's earth tones, and so on, and more to George W. Bush's total lack of any grasp of policy, we could have avoided the last eight years."
As for that 'force of personality', "the Saudis said they would pump an additional 300,000 barrels of crude next month. They also made a point that the decision had been made a week ago, and not in response to Bush's visit." But the President did promise to send the Saudis more nuclear technology. Is it even close to a good idea to help make Saudi Arabia a nuclear power? Sure they may agree to add in the technology safeguards we want them to have, and sure maybe it is simply the best we can hope for - that they will be a nuclear power allied with the U.S.
The local prize for Bad Ideas on Energy Policy once again goes to Congressman David Davis of East Tennessee. He thinks a.) OPEC sets the price of oil and b.) the government should provide tax-free bonds for oil companies so the poor, poor oil companies can build more refineries. He also urges more tax breaks for them and continues to blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for high gasoline prices (article here).