Two unconnected developments were announced this past week. President Obama is releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, despite the absence of a global embargo or horrific natural disaster — and despite a litany of assertions from 2008 that drilling and increased supply might only have a marginal effect on prices.
Like the sudden Afghan withdrawal announcement, the tapping is largely explained by political worries about reelection, as in increasing oil supplies to lower gas prices by election time — and thus avoiding campaign ads equating Obama’s opposition to drilling with high prices at the 2012 pump.
In a second piece of news, the Europeans seem to be winning far more plane orders than Boeing. One wonders whether that fact is remotely connected with airlines’ collective worries about obtaining orders on time and as specified — as in uncertainty whether Obama’s NLRB ruling that attempted to shut down a nearly $1 billion new aircraft line in South Carolina translates into something like “who knows what those Americans are doing next?”