Our friend Bruno Behrend looks at peak pricing without peak oil:
Here is what George W. Bush has done folks. He knew that the American people would never swallow a tax on Gasoline, no matter how good or bad the policy might have been for America. He just allowed speculators and “markets” (not really free markets, either) to artificially raise the price of gas. The money doesn’t flow into the government. It flows into the balance sheets and income statements of energy companies and speculators.
Bush “privatized” the “gas tax increase” he never would advocate openly.
I agree that the effect of the market forces is the equivalent of a tax, sure, but as I read this, it almost implies that GW did it on purpose to accomplish some socially beneficial purpose (conservation? encouraging the development of new technology?).
And here I part company with Bruno. Someone once said you should never ascribe to malice that which can be better explained by stupidity. I would guess you should also never ascribe to goodwill that which can be better explained by incompetence. I don’t think GW ever envisioned gasoline prices where they are. He has to know it isn’t helping his legacy and how he’s going to be thought of in the future, which he’s shown some signs of caring about. Heck, even the fighting 28% and falling isn’t happy about higher gasoline prices, so this even dents his image slightly with most members of that die-hard crowd. I have to assume if he thought he could do anything about it, he would. (And of course, if he thought he could do anything about it, its safe to assume any plan acceptable to GW would involve cutting tax rates on oil companies, not raising them.)