This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," July 12, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: The energy secretary of the United States was politely waiting by, hearing all of that.

With us right now, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman.

Secretary, good to have you.

SAMUEL BODMAN, ENERGY SECRETARY: It's very nice to be here, Neil.

CAVUTO: Basically, Tom Petrie, a widely respected industry watcher, says kind of get used to this. Should we get used to these kind of levels for oil?

BODMAN: Well, Tom Petrie is an extremely able man. And I have known him for a long time. And I used to deal with him in the financial area back in my days in the private sector. So, I count his opinion very highly.

CAVUTO: It's too bad he is still listening. That's...


CAVUTO: All right.

BODMAN: Well...


BODMAN: Even if he's not listening, I would say that.



CAVUTO: So, in other words, he's right that it could stay kind of around these levels? That could be bad news for the economy.

BODMAN: Sure it could be bad news. And the president feels very strongly about this. He feels for the American people, the American consumer. Every time an American fills his tank with gasoline, he or she feels that kind of pain. The president feels it, and that's why we need an energy bill. This energy bill, I believe I'm a little more optimistic about it, perhaps, than my friend, Mr. Petrie, but because I believe that there are some things that will start to help in the medium term, not so much the long term.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you this, though, sir. And I don't mean to rush you.


CAVUTO: But if do we get a situation where it gets to be $70/barrel oil, would the administration be open to tapping the reserve?

BODMAN: No, sir.

The reserve is there for the purposes of not controlling price or not trying to manage price. It is our view that the free markets ought to determine price. The reserve is there for responding to interruptions, interruption in supply.

And so, those are the conditions. If we have a hurricane and that will take out meaningful parts of our supply or some other kind of willful act on somebody's part, that's when we would use the Strategic Reserve (search).

CAVUTO: But not until then?

BODMAN: Not until then, sir.


Samuel Bodman, thank you very much. The energy secretary of the United States, at the White House.

BODMAN: Happy to be here.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much.

BODMAN: Thank you.

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