Putting pressure on congressional Democrats to back more exploration for oil, President Bush on Monday lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling that has been in place since his father was president.
But the move, by itself, will do nothing unless Congress acts as well.
There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by the first President Bush in 1990. The current president, trying to ease market tensions and boost supply, called last month for Congress to lift its prohibition before he did so himself.
“This is a chess game between President George W. and Congress,” says oil trader Joe Terranova on CNBC's "Closing Bell."
What’s the next move? That’s the million dollar question.
“The next move is Congress turns around and says ok (we'll allow more off-shore drilling) if you release crude from the Strategic Oil Reserve.”
The net result would be a drop in the price of oil in the short-term, "making the public happier before the election."
If you're looking for a trade Terranova says lower oil prices should help increase refiners’ margins. “I think it’s time to take a look at the refiners,” he concludes. I myself bought Valero .
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Trader disclosure: On July 14, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (US), (WMT), (MSFT), (INTC), (USO); Finerman Owns (CSCO), (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO), (PDE); Finerman's Firm Is Long SPX Index Puts; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C) And (C) Leaps; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (IWM), (SPY); Seymour Owns (TSL), (AAPL), (CSCO), (INTC), (MER), (MSFT)
Terranova Owns (VLO), (SA), (YHOO), (FCX), (IYT), (GOOG), (CME), (INTC), (BNI), (LUV), (XLF), (SU); Terranova Is Short 30 Year US Bond Futures (September); Terranova Owns Dollar Index Futures (September)
Terranova is chief alternatives strategist at Phoenix Investment Partners;Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (IGE),(DBC), (DBV), (RWX), (AAPL), (AMD), (ATI), (AW), (BA), (BAC), (BNI), (BSC), (BUD), (C), (CHK), (COH), (COP), (CSCO), (CME), (CVX), (DAL), (DNA), (DVN), (FCX), (FNM), (FRE), (GOOG), (GS), (HAL), (HOT), (IBM), (INTC),(ICE), (JNJ), (JNPR), (JPM), (LEH), (LUV), (M), (MEE), (MON), (MOS), (MS), (MSFT), (NCC), (NUE), (NYX), (NDAQ), (OC), (POT), (RBN), (RSG), (SU), (SUN), (SWKS), (TIE), (TSO), (USB), (VLO), (WB), (X), (XOM), (YHOO)
Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (AA) And Is Short (AA); Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (BHI) And Is Short (BHI); Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (DE) And Is Short (DE); Phoenix Investment Partners Owns Shares Of InBev NV; Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (MER) And Is Short (MER); Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (SLB) And Is Short (SLB); Phoenix Investment Partners Is Short (SONC); Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (WFC) And Is Short (WFC); Phoenix Investment Partners Owns Nike-Cl B Shares; Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (KMB)