Yesterday, David noted comments by an oil analyst who predicted $200 oil by 2012.

Today, that analyst was joined in his prediction by none other than the chief of OPEC, Chakib Khelil (who’s also Algeria’s energy minister). Mr. Khelil’s comments were not date-specific, though this article leads me to believe he was thinking $200 oil could come much sooner than 2012.

Meanwhile, we saw more of the same from both President Bush and Big Oil.

For its part, Big Oil began yet another round of record quarterly profit reports, with Royal Dutch Shell raking in $9.08 billion and BP pulling down some $7.62 billion. It’s remarkable that each company’s take is not only record-breaking but each beat analysts’ expectations by around $1 billion. Even more extraordinary is that BP made nearly $3 billion more than the same quarter last year, with Shell improving its profits by almost $2 billion. And all of this while BP had nearly zero growth in year-on production and Shell’s production grew just 1 percent.

As both gas and diesel prices set new records ($3.607 and $4.244, respectively), President Bush’s main strategy for dealing with the present energy and economic crises was to berate Congress and call for more of the same failed energy policies we’ve seen for the last seven years. This included the same tired call for drilling in the Arctic Refuge — something that would do little more than boost Big Oil’s profits.

As Carl Pope said:

Two years ago President Bush said America was addicted to oil but today he complained that we just need a bigger fix.

In regard to the president’s wrongheaded call for drilling in the Arctic, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) echoed Pope, reports The New York Times:

In his remarks on Capitol Hill, Mr. Schumer took particular issue with Mr. Bush’s characterization of the energy crisis, saying that the president’s proposed solution of drilling in ANWR would reduce the price of oil by a single penny in 20 years. During that time, Mr. Schumer said, Americans would continue to pay higher gas prices at the pump, while profits for oil companies would soar.

Update [2008-4-29 14:9:42 by Josh Dorner]:: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also shot back at the President for scolding Congress while threatening to veto a bill passed overwhelmingly by the House that would take back $13.5 billion in taxpayer-funded giveaways to Big Oil and use the money to support tax incentives for renewable energy:

“The President can take three actions today to help our economy: lower gas prices by halting deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; save 116,000 green jobs and create hundreds of thousands more by dropping his veto threat from House legislation creating tax credits for renewable energy…”

The Associated Press also offers a thorough debunk of the speech here.