Is the Bush administration manipulating oil prices to win elections?

Commentary about business and finance.
Oct. 4 2006 4:03 PM

The Oil Conspiracy

Is the Bush administration manipulating oil prices to win elections?

(Continued from Page 1)

Closer to home, there was plenty of activity in August and September—beyond Goldman's index maneuvers—that helped push market and retail prices of energy lower. They include: a growing sense that the U.S. economy, the largest user of oil on the planet, has been slowing rapidly and might be headed toward a recession; a shift in the mix of the U.S. car fleet away from trucks and SUVs and toward smaller vehicles; a potential big find in the Gulf of Mexico; a growing boomlet in ethanol and alternative energy; a bust of a hurricane season; and the blowup of a gigantic hedge fund with huge positions in natural gas.

So, the recent fall in energy prices is almost certainly not a Bush conspiracy, just a bit of electoral good luck.

Daniel Gross is a longtime Slate contributor. His most recent book is Better, Stronger, Faster. Follow him on Twitter.

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