- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
Bush pushes to free up oil
Question of the Day
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Bush yesterday pressed King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to increase oil production and ease rising gas prices, while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice split off from the president”s trip for a surprise day trip to meet with the Iraqi government in Baghdad.
At the end of the day, Miss Rice and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal held a press conference with reporters here at the Saudi government“s request, touching on the bombing in Lebanon, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Iran and human rights in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Bush said he was planning to raise the issue of oil production over dinner at King Abdullah“s horse farm outside the Saudi capital, but White House staff were unable to brief reporters on the talks.
“I would like for them to realize that high energy prices affect the economies of consuming nations,” Mr. Bush said earlier in the day of the Saudis. “If these economies weaken, those economies will eventually be buying fewer barrels of oil.”
Saudi Arabia is one of five founding members of the 14-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The price of oil hit $100 a barrel last week, raising concerns that the cost of importing 20 million barrels a day in the U.S. may add to the likelihood of a recession. Yesterday, oil fell $2.30 to $91.90 a barrel.
Speaking to reporters at the Saudi Royal Palace guesthouse, Mr. Bush said that “there”s not a lot of excess capacity in the market place” and that “demand has outstripped supply.”
Mr. Bush“s statements drew a quick response from Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.
“Some people mistakenly think that the U.S.-Saudi petroleum equation is determined by how much oil the United States imports from Saudi Arabia,” Mr. al-Naimi said, during a press conference at the hotel housing the White House press corps.
“In fact, these are purely commercial transactions and are a function of market fundamentals rather than policy directives,” the minister said. “We will raise production when the market justifies it. This is our policy.”
He defended the withholding of about 2 million barrels a day for the building of an emergency oil reserve. When asked about the impact of a possible U.S. recession, Mr. al-Naimi said, “No one will look with pleasure on a recession in the U.S.”
Asked whether gas prices would ever dip below $2 a gallon for U.S. drivers again, Mr. al-Naimi said, “If I knew the answer to that question, I would be in Las Vegas rather than here.”
Miss Rice visited Iraq yesterday morning to congratulate the government in Baghdad on recent progress. The Iraqi parliament on Saturday passed a law allowing past members of Saddam Hussein”s Ba”ath Party to re-enter government posts, which had been described as a key component of reconciliation between the nation”s Muslim sects and tribes.
She said the de-Ba”athification law was “clearly a step forward for national reconciliation [and] for healing the wounds of the past.”
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq