President George W. Bush planned to lift a ban on oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf on Monday as part of an effort to ease record high oil prices, the White House said.This is really a futile act. Any production from discoveries made in light of this are at least decade away and will likely only make up a fraction of demand, should things continue as they are. But that won't stop millions of people from believing what they want to believe and electing leaders who'll tell them what they want to hear.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush was acting because the Democratic-led Congress had failed to do so since he urged lawmakers last month to lift restrictions on offshore drilling, a move strongly opposed by environmentalists.
Bush was due to announce his decision and make a statement on energy needs at 1:30 p.m. EDT. High gasoline prices increasingly have irked American consumers in a presidential election year, when Bush's Republicans are trying to keep control of the White House.
Matt Simmons explains [observe trader Joe's face and words - he's a goldfish swimming around his bowl of "market cycles" not noticing the water level falling, marvelling at the sudden high concentration of food]:
If price does come down again, it'll be because the economy has short circuited. Oil price is double what is was last year. Double this year's price and we're at $300 a barrel. If the US or Israel hit Iran in the next few months, there is no ceiling. Abrupt shifts can happen literally overnight at this point.
Winter is coming.
[Over the next few weeks I hope to put up a series of posts describing practical approaches to adapting to the sort of upheaval we're coming to expect. I share the same theoretical orientation as people like John Robb and WN Adger when it comes to these issues and I'd encourage people to follow the links and read their works. As Simmons indicates in the clip above, it's no good pointing fingers; it's solution time.]