There's a gas station up the road from me that's cut the price dramatically enough for lines to form around the block. It's a promotion of some kind. You've seen the same thing where you live. Here in California, of course, there's a punchline: the bargain price is $4 a gallon.
The price for a barrel of crude has been sneaking up on $140. It may have gone over; I really haven't been keeping track. I've been off having a growth experience. It did dimly register that the Speaker of the House of Representatives said we couldn't "drill our way out" of this problem. Ann Coulter had a good line about that. She said it was like saying you couldn't sleep your way out of tiredness. Well, it seems Ms. Pelosi and us in the Great Unwashed can both have our way. We don't have to drill to bring down the price of crude; all we have to do is say we'll drill and the price drops by 20 percent. How efficient.
President Bush has lifted an executive ban on drilling for oil on non-park public lands. There have been several thousand of acres in Alaska released for drilling. They'd already found oil, they were just waiting for permission to go get it. The corresponding congressional ban expires September 30. This settles the question once and for all in my mind over whether Mr. Bush is stupid or crooked. That move was pure evil political genius. On the strength of this news the price of oil dropped $5 a barrel. When it was reported that the oil could be in refineries by 2010 is when things really took a dive.
I have a running debate with a friend of mine. He's of the "Chimpy McHitlerburton" school of thought on our president. Both of us think the oil market's fixed, but we're at odds over who's doing it. I think I got this one. Now, if we could just settle that whole 9/11 thing...