Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush Rebuffed on Oil Plea in Saudi Arabia

Poor George; he's a lame duck.

With the price of oil hitting record highs, President Bush used a private visit to King Abdullah’s ranch here Friday to make a second attempt to persuade the Saudi government to increase oil production and was rebuffed yet again.

Even the King thinks so.

Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, told reporters, “What they’re saying to us is” that “Saudi Arabia does not have customers that are making requests for oil that they are not able to satisfy," The Associated Press reported.

It ain't the lack of supply that is driving the price of petroleum up.

Earlier, the White House press secretary, Dana Perino, told reporters aboard Air Force One on the way here from Jerusalem that Mr. Bush wanted Saudi Arabia to increase production so that American consumers could get some relief at the gasoline pump. "Clearly, the price of gas is too high for Americans and it is causing a hardship for families with low income,” she said. “We do count on the OPEC countries to keep adequate supplies out there so the president will talk with the king again about that,” she said.

Nor of refined gasoline.

The president had little choice but to try again. Back in Washington, Democrats like Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York are pressing for sanctions against Saudi Arabia. Mr. Schumer wants to limit arms sales to the kingdom, saying he wants them to “cooperate and not strangle American consumers.”

Pandering Chuck. Nice spin.

Mr. Bush arrived in Saudi Arabia from Jerusalem, where he spent the past several days celebrating that country’s 60th anniversary. The Saudi visit marks another anniversary — seventy five years since the first formal American-Saudi diplomatic relations.On Friday, the White House announced a series of initiatives meant to increase the partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia on energy and fighting terrorism.

Among the steps: Saudi Arabia will join 70 partner nations of a global initiative to fight nuclear terrorism, and will join more than 85 countries participating in an initiative intended to reduce the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In exchange, the White House said, the United States will help the Saudis develop civilian nuclear power, as well as new infrastructure to safeguard its energy supplies.

Saudi Arabia with nukes? Oy.

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