Forgive the light blogging of late. I’m pulling news articles for my thesis from Lexis-Nexis. It’s taking longer than it should because I keep reading the old clippings. Here’s an interesting New York Times article from 1996:

In an effort to stem an election-year surge in gasoline prices, President Clinton announced today that the Government would seek to bring them down by selling about 12 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

In addition, Mr. Clinton instructed the Energy Secretary, Hazel R. O’Leary, to report to him in 45 days on the factors that led to the recent run-up in pump prices that have raised gasoline to a national average of $1.24 for a gallon of regular, up about 10 percent from a year ago.

Mr. Clinton’s move had been authorized by Congress in the budget agreement reached last week and it had envisioned the action more as a deficit-reduction measure to raise $227 million for the Government. The sale would amount to two-thirds of a day’s consumption of crude oil.But the President attributed his decision to act immediately to his concern about the surge in gasoline prices, which have emerged as a political issue in Congress and in the Presidential race.

$1.24 per gallon! Outrageous!

Although it’s hard for a free-market capitalist to stomach, perhaps it’s time for Bush to try such a move.

I don’t recall if that move had any long-lasting effect. Other than helping him win the election, of course.