At a press conference today with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, President Bush was questioned about the continuing record prices of oil — now $118 a barrel — and the effect on the economy. He blamed Congress for not giving oil companies access to the “neglected hydrocarbons” in the now-melting Arctic and continued:
And now we’re becoming as a result becoming more dependent on foreign sources of oil. Fortunately, Canada and Mexico are our biggest providers, for which we are grateful.
This is not the first time Bush has celebrated Canada and Mexico’s oil imports — in March he claimed that “we get most of our oil, by the way, from Canada and Mexico.”
Bush’s statements would be true — if Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations were wiped off the map. While Canada is the greatest exporter of crude oil to the United States, Saudi Arabia is a close second. Mexico is in third place, and has been since August 2007. Combined, Canada and Mexico provide about one-third of U.S. oil imports, while OPEC nations provide more than half. Bush’s solution to the problem of American demand fueling “the financial engine of radical Sunni Islam” is to pretend Saudi Arabia doesn’t exist.
Q: Oil prices today rose above $118 a barrel. It’s another record. Are Saudi Arabia and other oil producers — are they our adversaries or have you had any success with your recent appeals with them? And also the effect of the gasoline prices. Isn’t that about to erase or certainly erode the benefit of the economic stimulus package?
BUSH: No question, rising gasoline prices are like a tax on our working people. And, you know, what’s happening is that we have had an energy policy that neglected hydrocarbons in the United States for a long period of time and now we’re paying the price. We should have been exploring for oil and gas in ANWR, for example. No, we made the decision — Congress kept preventing us from opening up new areas to explore in environmentally friendly ways. And now we’re becoming as a result more and more dependent on foreign sources of oil. Fortunately, Canada and Mexico are our biggest providers, for which we are grateful.