Gas Prices: The Crisis Made In Washington

Yesterday, President Bush again called on Congress

to repeal it’s bans against drilling for oil on

American territory and in American waters.


From the Democrat leaders in the House and Senate came the usual insipid response that “Bush policies” caused high gas prices. As always, they were unable to identify or describe the bad “policies” or explain cause-effect connections between policies and gas prices.

On the campaign trail Barack Obama announced that YOU could save more oil than the oil companies can produce if allowed to drill more. How? Inflate your tires and get a tuneup! Here’s the video!

In reality, $4 gas and massive dependence on imported oil result from a “policy” enacted into law by Congress twenty years ago, that bans new exploration and drilling for oil almost anywhere on US soil or in US waters. Also banned, is extracting oil from shale, even though America has the world’s largest shale oil deposit. The Bush Administration produced an energy report in April, 2001 that called for lifting some of the bans but the Democrats condemned it as “written by big oil” and refused to consider it.

So, the bans stayed in place and now, here we are, once again, enduring the tediously familiar Washington dance: finger-pointing, incoherent debate and stonewalling against resolution of a crisis.

The anti-drilling politicians cloud the issue with the misplaced use of “we-ours-us.” They talk about how “we” must not drill for oil because “we” must instead use “our” resources to invest in alternative energy sources.

Politicians introduce ambiguity, confusion, and deception, when they use the we-ours-us terms to describe decisions that, in a society built on the principles of individual liberty, should be private and not under government control. The misplaced use of we-our-us leads, over time, to a sort of numbed popular acceptance of the notion that nothing can happen unless government authorities first do the thinking and then provide official blessings and release funds.

The we-our-us rhetorical device obscures the truth: if permitted to drill, the oil companies will invest their own, not “our” or government’s resources into growing their own business – and create tens of thousands of new American jobs along the way. It isn’t necessary for “us” – meaning politicians and regulators in Washington – to choose between investment in drilling and investment in alternatives.

At the same time oil companies, if permitted, invest their resources to produce more oil, other companies are investing and will continue to invest their own resources in research and development of oil-alternatives and fuel saving technologies. General Motors has invested heavily in hydrogen fuel cell powered cars, including buying a stake in fuel cell researcher Quantum Technologies. At this moment a fleet of GM fuel cell cars is undergoing long term testing by “regular people” in New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Honda has also developed fuel cell prototypes and has put a test fleet on the streets of Los Angeles.

Other companies are researching wind, solar and other exotic alternatives. There is no reason for the big “we,” meaning politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, to decide which research should or should not be conducted, or to pick research projects to fund, or to subsidize some forms of energy and penalize others. Politicians and regulators have no track record that would demonstrate them qualified to pick winners and losers in advance, before all research and development has been completed.

The best thing for government to do is remove the barriers and get out of the way. Government should allow individuals, groups and companies to do which ideas are most promising and do as little or as much research and development as they wish, without any political interference. Government should allow oil companies to produce as much oil as they can sell.

America would not be in this critically urgent situation if the activists and lobbying groups – who always use the we-our-us cloud to confuse and deceive us – had not persuaded Congress to overstep its Constitutional authority, banning production of oil and natural gas and nuclear power and thus creating a shortage energy and high priced gasoline.

The politicians should solve the energy crisis they created in Washington by stepping back, removing politically motivated barriers, and allowing liberty to work!

3 Comments so far

  1. aaa again on August 1st, 2008

    Truer words were never spoken. And consider this, as the unemployment rate edges up towards 6%, in Canada they have an absolute boom economy taking place derivative of the extraction of shale oil. An absolute boom.

    Bashing oil companies makes for good politics, but awful public policy. The Democratic candidates in the 2006 elections campaigned on reducing gas prices, yet they almost doubled. The real world spoke. If Obama wins he won’t be able to ply the falsehood that Bush and his cronies are facilitating high prices. And what will they do then??

  2. aaa again on August 1st, 2008

    From “Just One Minute”

    So who said this back in late 2005?

    “I don’t think I have a place in history yet. I got elected to the U.S. Senate. I haven’t done anything yet.” (Ya don’t say !!)

    That was the humble, grounded Barack Obama, newly elected to the US Senate. And what has he done in the Senate? Well his proposal to surrender to Al Qaeda in Iraq in January of 2007 was shot down. Otherwise, not much.

    McCain could run a positive campaign emphasizing experience and his energy plan. Don’t ask Hillary how the experience thing went – she had a bad experience with experience because she lacked experience.

    But on energy, McCain has something to please (or irk) everyone. Offshore drilling polls better than might have been expected in California, Obama can’t pronounce “nuclear”, and enviros know McCain has been a Senate leader on carbon cap and trade schemes (don’t tell righties).

    Energy is a real problem needing some leadership from Washington provided by a guy who has experience working with both sides to get things done. Obama has never demonstrated that ability and has not currently adopted energy positions with appeal to the right. McCain has repeatedly displayed his ability to sell out the right work across the aisle.

    Should be a winning issue.

  3. Run Your Car on Water Scam on October 27th, 2008

    Run Your Car on Water Scam…

    It’ s a shame that we rely on forein oil so much. Everyone is dependent on the middle east oil nowadays…