Cheney and Saudis: No short-term fix for oil prices: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted March 22, 2008 10:30 AM
The Swamp


In January, Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali I. Al-Naimi had said the Saudis would not be boosting oil production for Washington. Photo by Mark Silva

by Mark Silva

With gasoline pushing $4 a gallon and oil already topping $100 per barrel, the only word of relief today coming out of Vice President Dick Cheney’s meetings with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is an agreement that “longer-term’’ solutions are necessary.

Solutions such as drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Abdullah, who had made commitments of new Saudi investment in oil production as crown prince a few years back when he visited President Bush at his Texas ranch and also met with Cheney in Dallas, told the vice president that they are following through on those investments, according to an account after their dinner at Janadria Farm.

(The Web-site for Janadria Farm is sort of like the oil discussion itself -- "Please return soon for updates.'')

President Bush had visited and dined with the king earlier this year as well, and the Saudis publicly and firmly rejected the idea of any immediate increase in oil production as a means of satisfying the demand that has helped drive prices higher..

A senior administration official said no breakthroughs on short-term relief for tight energy markets had come out of Cheney’s meetings with Abdullah.

“There was a lot of commonality in their assessment about the structural problems confronted by the global energy market now, and some discussion of probably the way forward, how we work together to try and stabilize the market and what can be done, what could be done shorter term," the official said, "but probably more about what's necessary to do over the medium to longer term."

Those longer-term solutions include more investment in new oil production,, as Saudi Arabia has been doing. Asked about the longer-term solutions, the official said: “I’m sure they mentioned the kinds of commitments the king made” when he met with the vice president in Dallas in 2005.

Then, the Saudis had laid out a five to six program near fulfillment, the official said, including “billions of dollars in Saudi investment into increasing capacity.”

“The U.S. believes there ought to be a lot more investment in our own production capabilities,’’ this official said – pointing to places such as the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, as well as offshore along the east, west and Gulf coasts.

To be precise, however, this official allowed that he didn’t have a lot of detail about the VP’s one-on-one discussions with the king. Cheney, who has made surprise stops in Iraq and Afghanistan during this trip, was headed to Israel and the West Bank for meetings with leaders about peace talks there.

With thanks to John McKinnon of the Wall Street Journal for his print pool reporting of the vice president's trip through the Middle East.

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Hey! Cheney!

How's the Iraqi oil production going?

I do not think Cheney was there to do anything to help us little people with the gas prices here in America. I think he was there getting his ducks in a row for when he is out of office and embarking on his new career of oil baron.

Why would they increase their oil production when they are making money hand over fist right now? Do any of us really think that they care about the average American? One thing the state and federal government s CAN do is cut taxes on gas so we see it at the pump. That could stimulate all kinds of spending because we would have the money every day/week in our pockets.

i wonder how his blind trust is going? you think there might be any oil company stock in it? i wonder if he knows? this is what you get when you put oil industry people in power. not one mention of conservation or cutting back on the strategic reserve. if you want relief do it yourself. if you don't need a suv or a pickup for work or to haul your especially large family around get a fuel efficient car or carpool, or take public transportation if practicable. alaska will not solve our oil problems it will just increase there profits. for people like cheney. most of that oil will probably go to china because of the ease of transporting it there.

SO, Is Cheney SO there to discuss oil prices? Does he want the Saudi's to increase their prices so that his cronies can make even more money, or is he looking for Sanctuary to escape prosecution for his many high crimes?

The lot of you reporters should review the rules of capitalization. (the king, vice president)

Why are they talking about supply and demand when everyone knows the gas price dial is next to the job switch with both placed in the White House.

I'm sure Dick Cheney and the Saudis are working really really hard to lower oil prices. If our energy policy wasn't top secret, we'd all know that we didn't make any serious investment in alternative energy production during the Bush Administration because that sort of thing should be left to private investors (like the oil companies and the Saudis). Instead, our government invested a trillion dollars on field research for freedom-spreading-munitions.

"Cheney and Saudis: No short-term fix for oil prices"

Veep Darth Vader doesn't give a damn about oil prices, Halliburton has already set him up for the rest of his, hopefully short, life.

"Cheney and Saudis: No short-term fix for oil prices"...they said as they all clinked champagne glasses.

Hey folks, guess what? No one is entitled to cheap gas prices. The party's over, so change your habits, and start educating your kids in a serious manner so they can find alternative energy technological solutions.

What a surprise. Cheney and the Saudi Arabia are the real terrorists. Believe it!!!

I'll tell you why theres no oil investment, cause theres no more oil. We are through.....hopefully we get some reliable alternatives soon.

Here is how to reduce dependency on foreign OIL:

Phase in an increase gasoline taxes an additional $4 over three years. The free market will take care of the rest- consumption and waste will be reduced as Americans move to much more fuel efficient vehicles which will result in increased supply as demand will go down and a reduction in foreign oil imports would result. Also alternative energy development would accelerate. The additional taxes raised can be used to pay for the war in Iraq & other ME military activities to protect oil supplies instead of passing the costs of the war to a future generation.

The fact of the matter is oil prices are actually controlled by traders. The only reason for Cheney to be talking to the Saudi's about increased output is to create a diversion for the average Joe, who doesn't understand the dynamics of oil prices. This in turn creates distrust of middle easterners and the "sell" of staying the course is easier since the average American now believes we need to in order to keep the flow of oil coming at whatever price.

The reality is: we need to loosen up on oil exploration and drilling. Our oil dependency is not going to suddenly be replaced by another energy source overnight, no matter what we do.

The reality is: we need to loosen up on oil exploration and drilling. Our oil dependency is not going to suddenly be replaced by another energy source overnight, no matter what we do.

Posted by: Bob | March 22, 2008 7:11 PM

Now that I can agree with. Iwish people would start conserving too. I guess I must be one of the few that has cut back.

New energy sources won't be put in place overnight. But drilling for every last drop of oil is not the answer. We've wasted the last seven years without making any serious effort to improve our energy security. A serious government investment in developing new energy sources in the US would generate job growth, improve our infrastructure, slash our trade deficit by reducing oil imports, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil suppliers. As an investment, it sure beats buying another trillion dollars worth of precision-guided "freedom spreaders". Scientific American had a nice article on the things we could do if we ever get serious about energy.

PLEASE... As if Cheney would want things any other way.

I think Donald Trump is a cheeseball, but he nails this issue when he talks about how we need REAL business people in Washington DC and not a bunch of self serving, political freaks.

To the reporters at The Swamp:
I am wondering if you could do a story on who is getting the profits from Iraqi oil, what are the names, nationalities, and ownership of any corporations involved with Iraqi oil, how much oil stays in Iraq and where any exported oil is going, how much oil totally is being taken out of the ground in Iraq, and what is that oil worth? Thanks. Could be a big help with the big picture.

Bush and Cheney have murdered America and we will never recover because we just don't have the will.

This is an important article, as are some of these comments. The government of Saudi Arabia made it clear before the first oil shock that they were not going to make the dreams of American and European motorists come true, and so it's time to accept this situation. Apparently many Americans do not know it yet, but further increases in the oil price are really not in their short-term or long-term interest.

Ferdinand E. Banks

You have to really wonder what was covered in a 4 1/2 hour meeting between Dick Cheney and the Saudi's.

The contributors to this post have it right. There is no overnight fix for the tight supply and demand issues driving up the cost of gas at the pumps.

The amazing thing to me is how uninformed the population at large is regarding skyrocketing oil pricing. People at the gas pumps seem genuinely "shell shocked."

The reality is that today, the US uses 20 million barrels of oil a day. In 1970, US production peaked at 10 million barrels per day. Today with about 100 million more cars on the road, the US produces only 5 million barrels per day. The shocker is that ANWAR would provide an estimated 1 million barrels per day. A drop in the bucket!

Seven years of trying to secure more oil to maintain our 100 year old energy infrastructure, while ignoring the need for alternatives has put our country in dire straits. Regardless of who is elected President, we need real leadership combined with creative, aggressive strategies to confront our new energy crisis.

You see, the problem is for both Cheney and the Saudis, high oil prices aren't a bad thing, it's are great thing. Nothing could make them happier, so why would they do anything to bring them down?

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