Obama wants high gas prices
That’s right you read it right. Following hurricane Katrina gasoline prices shot up to $5 a gallon here in Atlanta and near $4 around the country. Left-wing nutjobs and Democrats of all flavors screamed accusations that GW Bush was in bed with “big oil.”
I heard my left-leaning friends complaining that Bush wanted the high prices to force more off-shore drilling here and thus line the greedy pockets of his Texas oil-friends. Who didn’t believe the invasion of Iraq was all about seizing the oil?
When Bush was president it was all a conspiracy. Later when Americans were demanding more domestic drilling, Nancy “Dingbat” Pelosi shut the lights off in the House of Representatives so Republicans could not debate solutions to the problem of high gasoline prices.
Today gasoline prices are back to Katrina levels and it is the Democrats running things. Where are the conspiracy nuts? Where are the accusations? Strangely silent. Google Bush and Oil and see the venom that pops up, do the same for Obama and virtually nothing returns. Obama claims he has nothing to do with the high prices, it’s a big oil conspiracy or perhaps speculators. Anyone but him. (I know that’s his MO.)
Somehow, though, his predecessor was at fault in 2005 but today the Presidency has no influence on oil prices. To that I say BS.
His handling of energy policy borders on treasonous and is absolutely conspiratorial. He and fellow Democrats have killed domestic oil production and their answer to high gas prices is to pressure prices even higher by further discouraging investment in production and increasing the aggregate tax burden on the price of oil and by derivation, gasoline and natural gas.
THEY KEEP TELLING US THEY WANT HIGH PRICES BUT NO ONE LISTENS
I believe it was the month after hurricane Katrina, WIRED magazine did a feature on alternative energy that honestly made the conclusion that green energy would not be viable as long as fossil-fuels were. One of the interviewees proposed gasoline “needed” to exceed $6/gal. before alternative could be taken seriously.
Last month I saw T. Boone Pickens on CNN. He was excited about the high price of gasoline. In fact he went so far as to proclaim that he wanted to see gas prices exceed $6/gal. The host seemed taken aback and asked why. His explanation was a bit in-depth but the basic premise was this: If oil prices get high enough they’ll push gasoline and natural gas prices so high that alternative energies, such as his own significant investment in wind power, will become a competitive alternative.
THE ENERGY SNOWBALL
If you believe the myth of global warming I understand you would want cleaner alternatives to be more appealing. However, I must ask, at what price? Points which Pickens, Obama, and most of the loony left are missing are the macro-economic consequences of pushing the price of fossil fuels up with goal of making people choose “green” alternatives.
High fuel costs affect far far more than summer vacation plans. The shock-waves ripple through everything. Sure Pickens will make millions if Americans are forced to buy incredibly inefficient wind-generated electricity, but that is a side-note to wide-ranging disastrous consequences.
As the price of gasoline increase, it affects the supply chains and logistics of every American business. Farmers have increased production costs. The cost of transporting food to processing, then to distribution centers, and to the grocery store – each part of the equation snowballing into exponentially higher grocery prices. And that is just one example.
Think about it. No product can avoid increasing its prices as fuel costs will ultimately pressure increased sale prices. Investments will stall and jobs lost as businesses try to stave off those increases. Yet we have an entire political party bent on pushing the price of gasoline to European levels. [If you don’t know what that means look it up.]
Pete Du Pont recently wrote a wonderful editorial explaining how bad the current energy policy is. I could not agree more that the administration’s energy policy is not about creating more energy but rather decreasing production. The intent seems deliberate and obvious – to increase the cost of energy. The reasons may be debatable but I am convinced it is the religious environmental belief that the earth has a “normal” temperature and restricting energy usage can somehow regulate that global thermostat.
Alaska, once overflowing with oil, produced 2 billion barrels of oil a day in the mid-80s now reduced to a mere 600 million. Mostly to save animals unaffected by oil drilling, by people who have never been to Alaska, and based upon misleading photos.
MILLIONAIRE PRESIDENT DOESN’T GET REAL LIFE IN AMERICA
The current administration has put in place an energy policy that is injurious to the American economy at a time when that economy is weak and vulnerable. Democrats appear callous toward the sufferings of the American people. The President recently suggested the cure was for people to buy more energy-efficient vehicles. The comment was akin to Marie Antoinette’s mythical “let them eat cake” remark.
If you’re complaining about an extra $30 a week to get to work you probably can’t afford a new $35k hybrid. My wife recently had to quit her job due to high gas prices. The bad economy was pressuring her employer to reduce her hours but her commute wasn’t reduced and her $10/hr job was reduced to less than $2/hr after taxes, gas, and lunch. [Only 10hrs on the clock, 5hrs on the road.]
THE ENERGY FACTS
While America has grown over the past 30 years domestic energy production has shrunk. Don’t take my word for it, here are some facts.
- In 1970 the United States produced 3.5 billion barrels of oil; In 2010 that figure was 2 billion.
- The federal government prohibits oil and natural gas drilling on 83% of federally owned land and has dramatically increased the importation of foreign oil.
- In 1970 only 500 million barrels were imported; In 2010 3.3 billion barrels were imported.
- In 1970 U.S. oil production was 88% of consumption, and today it is 37%.
Now let’s look at “green energy.” Democrats complained loudly about oil subsidies but how do those compare to green subsidies?
- Solar power production grew 15.5 percent in 2009, yet accounts for less than 0.5% of global electric power output.
- Tax-payer subsidized solar energy costs between $220 and $300 per megawatt-hour, compared with the national average of $110.
- Government subsidies for solar and wind power are $23 per megawatt-hour, compared to $1.59 for nuclear power, 44 cents for conventional coal, and 25 cents for natural gas.
Are we getting our money’s worth?
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see cheap affordable green alternatives, however, I would also like to see dramatic increases in domestic oil production. Sure I’d like to see a clean environment, not because I believe the planet is heating up – which it is not – but because it is the right thing to do. In time the cost of green alternatives will come down but in the meantime it is in all of our best interests to start producing our own oil.
And there’s another huge reason to increase domestic oil production and promote green alternatives. If we dry up our foreign dependence on oil we choke off money going to terrorist organizations and the governments that sympathize with them. It is impossible to do this with solar panels and windmills alone. Impossible.
The unintended consequences of increased domestic oil production are more positive than negative. Sure, we must do a perfect job at avoiding ecological disasters, but the benefits to our economy that would result from lower energy costs are difficult for small-minded global-warming-fearing-crowd to understand or recognize. Lower energy costs ripple through everything.
Furthermore there is a foreign policy dividend missed by most people. If America’s dependence upon foreign oil is gone, America would have little motivation to “meddle” in the affairs of backward and often barbaric cultures that have so dominated our attention for much of the last century.