Bonus Obsession: Scottie’s Oily Temper Tantrum

From Holden:

Apparently, the fact that the price of a barrel of oil has set a new record nearly every day this month is John Kerry’s fault. And Little Scottie is upset because congress has not passed Cheney’s energy company giveaway bill:

Q Scott, oil is now creeping up to $50 a barrel. And people are saying that it could threaten recession, et cetera, a very serious problem. I know you keep talking about the energy bill, but the energy bill doesn’t appear to be going anywhere at this point, and the problem is really very serious. What’s the administration going to do?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, remember, we called for passage of a comprehensive energy plan more than three years ago. [snip]

Congress has not acted on the President’s plan, and because the Senate — certain members of the Senate, including the President’s opponent, have blocked passing the comprehensive energy legislation.

Q But if that is the fact, and if it’s been going on for three years, then isn’t that beating a dead horse? Maybe there’s another approach. Would you, for instance, consider opening the strategic reserves, as Kerry has been proposing, and others?

MR. McCLELLAN: [B-b-but, congress is to blame. Waa!]

But the strategic petroleum reserve is vital to our national security, and filling it helps protect American consumers and protect our economy against a severe disruption in the supply of oil.

Q But, Scott, are you saying that Senator Kerry is contributing to high oil prices? I mean, isn’t that what you’re suggesting with your comment about the energy —

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m saying [waa, waaa, waa!]

Q Let me go back to the Reserve. Why don’t you just stop filling it — I mean, not using it, but just stop filling it? Don’t you think that would send to the market a —

MR. McCLELLAN: [Must keep filling. Waa!]

Q In terms of signal, don’t you think it would send to the market the right signal, saying we just stop filling it for the time being and —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, remember — remember, we’re a nation at war. And tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve solely for political purposes to lower prices would reduce our protection and weaken — and weaken us while we’re at war. [Waa!]

Q I’m not saying, tapping, I’m saying, stop filling it.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I understand. But that’s why I said, the importance of doing so helps strengthen us and strengthen our national security in the event that there is a severe disruption.


Q Scott, following up on that, since there is a log-jam in Congress right now on the energy bill, and when Congress does come back, there will be focus primarily on the 9/11 Commission recommendations and the budget, is the President contemplating any other measures that he can take, or the Energy Department can take to bring down the price of oil, with the exception of SPR?

MR. McCLELLAN: The administration is always looking at — looking at ways to address these issues. Absolutely. And we need to — and we will continue to do so.

Q Can you give us an idea of what —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, and most importantly, [waa!]

Q But short of getting that —

MR. McCLELLAN: But — but people keep looking for patchwork crisis management solutions. We need comprehensive, permanent solutions.