In particular, Obama's decision to open new area's to offshore drilling:
Obama’s decision probably doesn’t make sense unless you take the fear factor into account. Let’s face it, if you were President of the United States, and you looked at this graph, what would you do? I don’t know about you, but I would probably start by saying something like, “HOLY SHIT!” Politically, Obama is looking at rapidly rising petroleum prices right around the time of his reelection campaign, if not sooner. Economically, he’s looking at a potential crunch just when things are supposed to be getting better. And while opening these new regions to drilling isn’t going to solve the problem (because even if large amounts of oil are lurking there the supply won’t come on line for about a decade), at least he’s now given himself political cover.