The president's energy non-policy of funding solar, wind, and god-knows-what-other kind of power while doing everything to prevent opening new oil fields to exploration and development is not to blame for high gas prices, says the president.
"It is true that a lot of what's driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply. There's enough supply. There's enough oil out there for world demand," Obama said at a campaign-style event not far from Washington.
"The problem is, is that oil is sold on these world markets, and speculators and people make various bets, and they say, 'you know what, we think that maybe there's a 20 percent chance that something might happen in the Middle East that might disrupt oil supply,'" he said.
"'So we're going to bet that oil is going to go up real high.' And that spikes up prices significantly," said the president, who recently launched his reelection campaign.
His comments came as oil prices rallied in New York, rebounding from the previous day's heavy losses as a weaker dollar boosted demand for dollar-priced commodities.
[...]"We're now in a position where we can investigate if there's unfair speculation. We're going to be monitoring gas stations to make sure there isn't any price gouging that's taking advantage of consumers," promised Obama.
"But the truth is that it is a world commodity, and when prices spike up like this there aren't a lot of short-term solutions. What we have are medium- and long-term solutions," he said.
There would have been "short term solutions" if, one of Obama's first acts as president would have been to open up every available oil field for drilling.
And perhaps the president wants to define "unfair speculation?" Oil, as a commodity, is extremely sensitive to supply and demand. Most analysts believe that "speculation" might add a 10% premium to a barrel of oil but no more. The president is also misinformed about the supply of oil on the world market. As economic recovery proceeds (everywhere but America), demand is going up fast while players like Libya have had to cut back exports significantly. There is no gap between supply and demand, but that's a tenuous situation. It won't take much for demand to outstrip supply to the point that actual shortages occur.