Everybody knows gas prices are going higher. The worst is probably yet to come this summer, when more people drive greater distances. As demand goes up while supply stays the same or goes down, prices tend to rise. When this happened under the hapless George W. Bush’s presidency, the media and academic establishment proclaimed, “High gas prices are the fault of Bush, Cheney and their oil buddies.”
I suppose anyone foolish enough to believe that George W. Bush can single-handedly raise the price of gas will also believe that someone else — say, the walking-on-water Barack Obama — can single-handedly lower the cost of gas, or at least contain it. Why hasn’t that happened? It can’t be because cap and trade didn’t pass. Cap and trade would only reduce the production of fuels (all fuels), which will cause the cost of gas to go still higher. I’m waiting to hear the same people who blamed the rising cost of gas on Bush to now blame it on Obama — or if not, to explain why not.
Steve Forbes, one of the few men to ever enter presidential politics who’s right more often than wrong, is nailing this issue well. Forbes is criticizing the Obama Administration for doing absolutely everything in its power to terminate, curtail or prevent drilling for oil anywhere in or near the United States, including Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Says Forbes, “The Interior secretary is blocking these things, not allowing the permits to go forward. So even though the [drilling] moratorium since that terrible spill last summer has been removed, the fact of the matter is permits have been frozen.”
This is because the virulently environmentalist Obama Administration does not believe in oil drilling, especially anywhere near the United States. Environmentalists don’t want oil drilling and they don’t care that this reduces supply and raises prices. In fact, they want prices to rise. Rising prices means fewer people will buy gas. Fewer people buying gas means less energy is consumed, and the earth is closer to its pristine and also barbaric state that environmentalists irrationally yearn for.
Obama and his socialist/liberal/environmentalist friends are at an interesting crossroads. In election year 2008, they capitalized on voter unhappiness with high gas prices as a way to tear down Bush, Republicans and ultimately defeat the Republican for President that fall. In 2012, gas prices may be higher than ever. If so, what will they say? If honest, they will say, “We actually like gas prices higher. It will reduce the collective carbon footprint and make the earth safer for everybody.” Of course they’ll never admit it, but this is what they want.
But even if they openly admitted the truth, then wasn’t Bush good for the environment — since his policies led to higher gas prices, at least according to them? Well, no. Although higher gas prices are good for the environment, Bush and his cronies wanted them higher to make a profit. When you drive gas prices higher to make a profit, you’re bad; when you drive gas prices higher to save the environment, it’s good. Motive matters, even if the results are the same.
This is the crazy sort of reasoning that you will see Obama and his fellow socialist liberals try to evade in their quest to hold onto power in 2012 and beyond. Either way, gas prices will keep going up, until and unless the government gets the hell out of the way. With economies developing in India, China and many other places, the demand for oil is going to keep going up. Supply is not keeping up with demand, and will keep up with demand even less as Middle Eastern nations fall like dominos to Islamic totalitarianism, as may now be happening.
The liberal dilemma stems from wanting contradictory things. They want more anti-American, fundamentalist Islamic regimes in the Middle East, and fewer pro-American ones. But they also want little or no oil production anywhere near the United States. In fact, they’d prefer less oil production everywhere. OK, but then how are people to survive? Or, even if survival is somehow assured, how are people expected to cope with gas that goes from $4 to $5 a gallon; and then $7; and then $10? And when does it stop?
You can’t have cheaper oil prices unless you increase oil production. There is no additional oil to produce except in places like Alaska and elsewhere, places where oil has not been previously produced on a scale consistent with its potential. Liberals will not stand for this because of “the environment.” They should open up honestly to Americans and tell them that they want less oil consumed, even if that means the rich will still be able to afford some, while the poor and middle class will not.
The rising deficit and national debt; the collapse of free enterprise via nationalization of entire industries; the socialization of medicine against popular will; the assault on free speech via FCC control of the Internet; the collapse of pro-American regimes throughout the world; the possible collapse of the dollar and creeping inflation — as if these were not enough for Republicans to run on in 2012, you can add the threat of permanently rising oil prices, the direct result of Obama’s polices, to the list.
Republicans have plenty to run on, going forward. Even if they don’t yet have a clear candidate for President, they own the issues. What they still must prove (against all history) is that they’re an entirely opposite party, on just about every single policy issue, from the Democrats. Oil and gas prices are an excellent place to start.