Petro prices in my neighborhood are about to fall below $2/gal. I believe I saw $2.06/gal this morning. We free marketeers predicted a few months ago that the rising prices that caused Nadir and others to form pitchfork-and-torch protests would engender a variety of factors causing a subsequent price drop, including modification of consumer behavior and increased efforts to explore, retrieve, and process. These things all occured. The conspiracy hypothesizers of course believe that wicked oil executives turn their price dials according to what they want: increase the price to increase profits, or decrease the price to reward and assist capitalist candidates (republicans). As one friend proclaimed to me recently: "Apparently they figured they made enough money off of the $3/gal price, and now they want to help their republican friends."
So how to explain the 8 years of super-low petro prices under Clinton, which contributed crucially to those good economic times? Why not turn the price dial down to help Bush I, then turn it up to hurt Clinton in his reelection, and then to hurt Gore?