Q I'm a little confused.
MR. McCLELLAN: We don't want you to be confused.
Q Yes, I know. The President has repeatedly said that the cause for high gas prices is high global demand for oil. So what makes him suspect that there's been any price manipulation when he already thinks that global forces are pushing up the price of oil?
MR. McCLELLAN: It's important to make sure that there's not any price gouging. The federal government has a responsibility to act, and we share a commitment with congressional leaders to make sure that we are acting to ensure that there is no price gouging. And that's what we will continue to do. This is one part of steps we can take in the short-run.
Q Is there a suspicion? Is there anything that has caused you to suspect that there is market manipulation, as opposed to just high demand?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, gas prices are high right now, and that's why you want to make sure there's not. And so that's what he's going to be talking about in that context.
Q I'm confused again, too. If the President had already directed the FTC and these other people to do these things, why did Frist and Hastert write to him today asking him to --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, when I say, "recently," he's just now directing them to take these steps. That's why the letter is going out from the Attorney General and the FTC. He talked about this last week a number of times. And so that's the context in which you should look at it. But we've been in close contact with Speaker Hastert and Leader Frist about these issues. We are all on the same page when it comes to making sure that there is no price gouging. And the President has said very clearly that this is something we will not tolerate, particularly when gas prices are high.
Q The President has a number of personal contacts, and the Vice President has personal contacts in the oil industry. Has there been any conversation between either of them with oil executives to try and get them to either give assurances about market manipulation, or try and bring down the price?
MR. McCLELLAN: We've previously talked about how all of us have a responsibility to do our part when it comes to addressing high gas prices. And that's something that we talked about before, and we're continuing to talk about. Tomorrow the President is going to make very clear, in a public way, that energy companies should reinvest those profits that they're making back into new technologies and alternative sources of energy. You know, if there are any updates on his calls, or things like that, I'll be glad to share that with you at the appropriate time.
Q What are two and three again? I missed those. Could you go over those two?
MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. They'll be in the transcript we'll have. They are promoting greater fuel efficiency and boosting our fuel supply.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"I'm Confused," Are you?
Here's an interesting exchange that occured in yesterday's press gaggle regarding today's speechifying by the W: