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?

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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 an editor and columnist at the Daily Beast.