Who is to blame for $50 a barrel oil? Certainly not the I Didn’t Do It Kid:
Q On oil prices reaching $50 a barrel, Senator Edwards today blamed this on mismanagement in Iraq and pointed to your own administration report that predicted that prices would be around $27 by now. And, obviously, it’s almost twice that. Are they wrong?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it’s Senate Democrats, including Senators Kerry and Edwards, who have blocked efforts to pass a comprehensive national energy plan. The President put forward a comprehensive national energy plan that would help make America energy self-sufficient. We need to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy. This President has made this a top priority of his administration, and it’s unfortunate that Senate Democrats, like Senators Kerry and Edwards, have continued to block efforts to put that plan in place so that we can reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Q So you don’t think the situation in Iraq and the administration’s handling of the situation in Iraq has anything to do with the prices going this high?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the hurricanes have had an impact. There are other issues relating to some of the comments made in Nigeria that have had an impact on some of this. But what — what happens here is that we go through this year after year because we manage through patchwork crisis management instead of passing comprehensive solutions. And that’s why this President led from very early on in his administration, developed a comprehensive national energy plan and called on Congress to get it passed. It would be passed if a minority of Senate Democrats weren’t blocking that plan. And that would help us to address this problem that comes up year after year.
Q No Iraqi thoughts on this at all?
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead.
Q Can you say whether or not unrest in Iraq is having an impact on the oil prices?
MR. McCLELLAN: Look, I mean, I think others can probably talk to you better than I could about — from the economic perspective —
Q But you’re willing to say hurricanes and Nigeria and Senate Democrats.