Dispatches > The Buzz

The Buzz

"The Buzz" Continued...

Issue: "Iraq: Liberation Day 2004," April 10, 2004

Presidential politics In an attempt to keep oil prices high throughout the spring, representatives from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna last week agreed to cut oil production by 4 percent. The decision, if adhered to, will reduce output by 1 million barrels per day and continue to put upward pressure on gasoline prices. OPEC nations pump about a third of the world's oil.

Rising prices at the pump became a major campaign issue last week, as Democratic challenger John Kerry blamed President Bush for gas prices hitting $1.80 per gallon in most places. Sen. Kerry proposes temporarily suspending contributions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a move that the Bush administration said would undermine national security and have a negligible effect on prices. Republicans also began a series of ads implying that if Sen. Kerry had his way, prices would go from bad to worse. The ads make the point that the Massachusetts Democrat once supported a 50-cent-per-gallon gas tax (story, p. 27).

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