I’m to the point where I can draw no other conclusion than our government isn’t interested in solving the problem of high gasoline prices. The evidence for this goes back well prior to the current wave of price hikes, and we’ve written about these factors here several times.
More recent examples of the anti-energy attitude on the part of our government… Democrats, and liberal Republicans, mostly, is found in this morning’s Wall Street Journal:
A tiny corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil and would be the largest producing oil field in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet the Senate blocked that development as recently as last month. The Outer Continental Shelf is estimated to contain some 86 billion barrels of oil, plus 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Yet of the shelf’s 1.76 billion acres, 85% is off-limits and 97% is undeveloped.
Engineers recently perfected refining solid shale rock into diesel or gas, which may amount to the largest oil supply in the world – perhaps as much as 1.8 trillion barrels in the American West. That’s enough to meet current U.S. oil demand for more than two centuries. Yet as late as 2007, Democrats attached a rider to the energy bill that prohibits leasing the federal interior lands that contain at least 80% of America’s oil shale. The key vote was cast by liberal Senator Ken Salazar from Colorado, of all places.
These supply guesses are probably conservative, because the only way to know for sure is to drill exploratory wells. Yet most of Alaska and offshore are cut off even from modern seismic testing. Many areas haven’t been examined since the 1960s, when exploration technology was far more primitive. This has led to the believe-it-or-not situation in which the Chinese are prepping to drill in Cuban waters less than 60 miles off the Florida coast. American companies are banned from drilling in American waters nearby.
But even those huge indicators aside… and regardless of any other factor, there are still price forces in play on Gasoline that the government could wipe out with the stroke of a pen… if they were really serious about lowering gasoline prices at the pump. They could be eliminating cafeteria and seasonal blends, at least until such time as we have enough refining capacity to deal with the luxury the various blendings offer us. Which of course would require added refining capacity be built. Yes, thes are mostly handled at the state level, but is there anyone who does not now understand that our economic security demands energy? This should be taken as a national security imperative deserving immidiate action by the congress and barring that, an execuitive order.
We could also lower the price of crude world-wide, and thereby further lower costs at the pump, by simply committing ourselves to domestic drilling. Sure, the stuff won’t be online for ten years, but I’m telling you, the response from OPEC will be to lower the costs per bbl by enough to keep the domestic fields unprofitable, in an attempt by them to maintain their operational monopoly on oil production. They’ll do that before the echo dies from congress opening up ANWR. (Yes, I’m aware of the speculation that OPEC coesn’t have the ability to raise their output, but it’s untrue. Did you note that they did raise their output the other day… AFTER telling Bush a few weeks ago they saw no need? Apparently they have more capacity than some are now saying) And anyway, we heard these excuses from Clinton when he vetoed ANWR… we’d not have the capacity online for around 10 years. Well, it’s 10 years on. think Clinton made the correct chocie back then, America?
All that’s required in both cases, is the courage to do so. Remember that the added capacity, the domestic drilling, the blending nonsense, all of it… we pointed oout these price increasing factors several YEARS prior to the current wave of price hikes. Any political ‘plan’ to deal with high gasoline prices that does not include these action cannot be taken seriously. If the government were serious about dealing with high gas prices, they’d have taken such actions a long time ago.
I think we need to pressure McCain on these matters. His stand on ANWR is totally unacceptable, and he has made no serious move to get government out from between the oil companies and our transportation. That would be the mark of a true conservative, and McCain could go a long way toward recouping his conservative creds by making such a move. It is unarguably govenmental policy that has caused most of the problems we now suffer at the pump, and Mccain will benefit greatly from it’s reversal, as would the Republicans in Congress… whichever decides to grow up first and pursue these matters. Obama is even worse, having already signaled he likes us paying these kind of prices for getting back and forth to work. He likes that our vacations are being ruined. He likes that our economic security is suffering under the weight of these prices.
And I’m telling you, the party that signs onto cutting fuel prices by getting government and the enviro-whackjobs out of the way, drilling in ANWR and anywhere else there’s oil, and allow the refiner’s efforts in adding refining capacity, will win this next election, bigtime. We as a country have put up with the vain posturings of the greenies for 30 years. We need to get away from them stepping in at every opportunity and costing us our livelyhoods, our transportation, and our money.
Does it make any sense for us to be shutting off our own oil supplies while screaming about how OPEC isn’t pumping enough?
That move away from the enviro-whackjobs, that move away from governmental micro-management that has demonstraby caused all these problems is the “change” the people want. Get government out of the way. And frankly, the ones that do not pursue that change, deserve whatever they get at the hands of the voters.
Team McCain, are you listening?
Addendum: (David L)
As the Microsoft salesman would say, “Heck Lady, this ain’t no bug, it’s a feature.” ‘Rats don’t see over four dollar a gallon gasoline as a problem. They see it as a solution. Their only problem is how to trick Americans into accepting over priced motor fuels as if they were somehow good.
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air , has posted a video of BO saying in essence the only problem with four dollar five cents gasoline is that we boiled the frog too fast.