Professor Martin Feldstein of Harvard in today's WSJ:
Any policy that causes the expected future oil price to fall can cause the current price to fall, or to rise less than it would otherwise do. In other words, it is possible to bring down today's price of oil with policies that will have their physical impact on oil demand or supply only in the future.
For example, increases in government subsidies to develop technology that will make future cars more efficient, or tighter standards that gradually improve the gas mileage of the stock of cars, would lower the future demand for oil and therefore the price of oil today. (See John McCain's $300M battery prize, and support for conservation).
Similarly, increasing the expected future supply of oil would also reduce today's price. (See John McCain's support for increased development of US oil resources). That fall in the current price would induce an immediate rise in oil consumption that would be matched by an increase in supply from the OPEC producers and others with some current excess capacity or available inventories.
Any steps that can be taken now to increase the future supply of oil, or reduce the future demand for oil in the U.S. or elsewhere, can therefore lead both to lower prices and increased consumption today.
So it appears that John McCain's team paid attention in economics classes, while Barack Obama's team (including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried) just take their talking points from the anti-capitalist environmental lobby and "Oil Conspiracy Theorists"...