Bush Asked to Push OPEC For Lower Prices

    March 7, 2005

The White House was asked by a U.S. lawmaker to explain why the Energy Department has not pushed OPEC to help lower crude oil and gasoline prices.

Sam Bodman, the U.S. Energy Secretary said that the Bush administration’s influence in getting OPEC to boost production and lower prices was limited.

A Reuters article says:

“When Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon asked Bodman why he had not telephoned OPEC ministers to lobby them to lower energy prices, the secretary responded: ‘I have a lot on my plate.’

Wyden did not like that answer and took his dissatisfaction with Bodman’s job performance in dealing with OPEC to the secretary’s boss — President Bush.”

Wyden sent a letter to the president asking him to uses his own capital to convince OPEC to lower prices.

“With oil prices now approaching the highest levels ever and experts predicting the price could rise above $60 per barrel, I urge you in the strongest terms possible to … convince OPEC leaders to increase oil supply and bring down oil prices,” said Wyden said in the letter.

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