Driving factors of oil prices

Re “Enriching the enemy,” editorial, Nov. 3

The Times’ editorial fails to mention the falling value of the dollar as a main cause of high oil prices. Oil is bought and sold in U.S. dollars, and producers want to make up their dollar losses by raising oil prices. The dollar’s value is a key barometer of the nation’s economic and financial health. Under the leadership of President Bush and his congressional enablers, that health cannot be considered good.

Eric Smith

Diamond Bar

There’s something about oil prices that no one is mentioning: Before Bush decided to invade Iraq, crude oil was about $30 a barrel. The bellicose eruptions about Iran took it from there to triple the pre-Iraq level. It is likely to soon shoot past $100. All because of what this administration said and did.

Bush wouldn’t dream of raising taxes, but he calmly dumps the consequences of tripled oil prices and levitating war debt onto the middle class, already swamped by unfair distribution of tax load and breathtaking escalations of healthcare, insurance and housing costs. We need to stop looking for ancillary factors driving oil prices.

Vicki Livingston

Rancho Palos Verdes

The Times argues that U.S. investment in alternative energy won’t bring down oil prices because China and India will just buy more. Citing geopolitics as a reason for oil prices going up is just not credible. Geopolitical instability is a given with the Bush administration and yet we have not seen prices go up as rapidly in the past; it is much more likely that oil suppliers are not able to keep up with demand. Considering the lack of any recent discoveries of major oil reserves, we can only expect that this condition is irreversible and supplies will forever be constrained as long as other forms of energy are not developed. This is a global problem. Invoking foreign threats is just an unnecessary distraction.

Sridhar Subramanian