Oil Prices Fall on Drop in Gas Futures

Crude oil and gasoline futures fell Tuesday after President Bush said he would waive regional clean-air specifications for summer-grade gasoline in order to attract more imports of motor fuel to the United States.

President Bush also said he would halt deposits of oil to the nation's strategic petroleum reserve until fall, but analysts said the measure would have little impact on crude prices and certainly not help make gasoline any cheaper.

John Kilduff, an analyst at Fimat USA in New York, said the Bush administration should have gone further, by eliminating tarriffs on ethanol imports, but said the action on gasoline specifications would indeed help alleviate supply constraints.

Light sweet crude for June delivery fell by 53 cents to $72.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following a sharp decline in gasoline futures, which slid by close to 8 cents a gallon.

Gasoline futures for May delivery fell 7.39 cents to $2.10 a gallon.

A high floor remains underneath oil and gasoline prices because of a variety of geopolitical tensions.

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