Washington: Amidst soaring oil prices posing a threat to the world economy, the United States has said there is “no magic wand” to solve the problem overnight.
“There’s no magic wand. It’s not going to be a problem that we solve overnight. I don’t think anybody anticipated that this (Jeddah) conference was going to have an immediate impact on price or on the stock market,” the White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said at her press briefing.
Perino was asked to comment on the recently concluded ministerial conference in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah where in spite of a pledge of upping production there has been no let up in the prices of oil.
“What we need to do is take a longer-term view, make sure that we are sending a signal to the market that we want to increase supply here in our own country, as well as continuing on our conservation efforts to decrease demand so that we can get this balance back in place.
“The important thing to do in regards to the long-term planning is to send a signal to the markets so that they know that this time the government of the United States is serious,” she said.
“For several of the energy debates over the past decades the answer has been, No, let’s just continue to get more oil from overseas and not focus on the conservation efforts.
“But we’ve had over the past several years a concentrated effort to both bring down demand here in our own country by fuel economy, by lighting efficiencies and other things that we’ve done, even in the federal government, but in addition to that, looking for ways that we can increase domestic production here in our own country,” she maintained.
“So there’s a long-term answer and ... there’s not a real good short-term answer, and we’ve been very explicit about that from the beginning,” Perino said.
“We absolutely are sympathetic. We understand. Many of us are consumers, too. We know that this is actually having a larger impact and a disproportionate impact on low-income people as well, and these are people that have to get to work every day, just like we do,” she said.
“... the important thing that we need to do is to continue the conservation measures, work on a way to send a signal to the market that we’re serious about increasing domestic production here in environmentally sensitive ways, and in addition to that, find ways that we can continue to express to the American people not to expect a short-term response. There’s not going to be a short-term response,” she said.
Perino was asked to comment on presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s remark that speculation is a big part of the goings on with the Saudis inclined to agree with this position but the Bush administration seemingly rejecting this notion.
“We believe the fundamental problem is the basic one of -- the basic law of supply and demand. We do think that speculation could have impact on the day-to-day volatility in the market. But over the long term, what we have seen is a levelling off of supply and a dramatically rising -- rise of demand. And that is what the fundamental problem is,” Perino added.