There’s a lot of talk right now about the skyrocketing oil and gas prices. With the summer blends kicking in and the flooding in Iowa jeopardizing the corn crops, most people will be paying $4 a gallon for the majority of the summer. Who is to blame for the high pump prices?
Republicans and Big Oil?
The Democrats, liberals, and Greens say this. And they point to the oil companies and say “Windfall profits! Price gouging! Bush! Cheney! Enron! Evil!” These people are still pushing the theory that Bush & Cheney are doing this to “make their buddies rich”. I offer you this: they’re already rich. They’ve been rich for years. It’s not like they were poor and all of a sudden they’re millionaires. “But they’re doing this to get more rich!”
Does anyone believe this anymore? Seriously?
They’re rich because — like Bill Gates and Doug Daft — they are the top-tier management of global corporations with shareholders who demand profits. They are rich because they are responsible for managing the exploration for, and the drilling, refining, and delivery of, a global resource. These “greedy oil companies” employ tens of thousands of people worldwide, and operate on a profit margin hovering around 8%, which is about 1/3 that of CocaCola and Pepsi. They make a lot of money because every around the world buys their product, so they sell a lot of it.
As fast food companies have blossomed, so have the sales of Coke, but Doug Daft isn’t hauled in front of Congress to testify about CocaCola’s record profits last year, earned on about a 28% profit margin. And I don’t hear you complaining that a medium Coke that used to cost 30 cents is now a buck-twenty-five. Why not?
So if Big Oil, Bush, and Cheney are not to blame, who is?
Well it’s true that the Democrats have made things difficult. While Nancy Pelosi said in April 2006 that “Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices”, they certainly haven’t achieved it. Over the years, the Democrats have been responsible for enacting and raising the bulk of the gas taxes we pay at the pump. They’re also responsible for extending the moratorium on offshore drilling in our EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) which extends to the Outer Continental Shelf. For example, for at least two years, Congressional Democrats have been blocking the efforts of Representative John Peterson (R-PA) to pass legislation that terminates any and all Federal legislation prohibiting drilling the Outer Continental Shelf.
They’re also largely responsible for the ethanol subsidies which have resulted not in lower gas prices, but instead higher food prices. And because they want the votes from the Greens, they’ve stood in the way of many energy projects here in the United States.
So is that it? Are the Greens ultimately responsible for the high gas prices?
It certainly seems that way. We’ve been wanting to drill in ANWR for 20+ years, but the Greens (and their special interest group dollars) have gotten in the way. We want to drill off the New England and Florida coasts, but the mega-rich (like the Kennedys) don’t want to see oil platforms mess up their scenic views. They lobby to prevent our drilling off the Florida coast, so now China has secured leases from Cuba that will allow them to set up slant drilling operations 50 miles off Florida’s coast, so they can drill into our oil reserves. The Greens complain that coal-to-oil makes oil that doesn’t burn as clean as regular oil. They also have prevented the construction of any new, modern refineries in this country in 32 years.
They are also standing in the way of retrieving oil from oil shale, despite the fact that it’s our best hope for energy independence. According to Wikipedia, “the United States has the largest known deposits of oil shale in the world, according to the Bureau of Land Management and holds an estimated 2,500 gigabarrels of potentially recoverable oil, enough to meet U.S. demand for oil at current rates for 110 years.”
So since to appease the Greens, we can’t drill our own oil (or make it from coal, or retrieve it from oil shale), what’s the solution?
Hydrogen? Sounds good, so long as they solve the whole combustibility problem. Most people don’t want to ride around in a bomb. But assuming they do solve that problem, there’s the issue of getting the hydrogen. You need an equal amount of energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases as you get from it. So where does that electricity come from?
While we’re talking about electricity, what about battery powered cars for short commutes? Sounds great. But we have to charge them, yes? Where’s that electricity coming from?
Remember, the tree-hugging Greens don’t want us to burn coal, despite the fact that smokestack scrubbers make their emissions lower than a semi truck. They don’t want us to burn natural gas because of CO2. They lobbied to prevent the construction of nuclear reactors. (There hasn’t been a new one built in this country since the 1970’s.) They won’t allow wind farms too close to the coastline because it messes up their scenic views. They let us build wind farms in the middle of the desert until they find out that they’re killing lots of birds, now they want us to shut them down. They don’t want hydro-electric dams because they “mess up the aquatic ecosystem of the rivers”. What’s left to make electricity with? The only option left is to “go solar!” but it’s barely possible to power a home, let alone charge a car.
The Greens have crippled us, and are continuing to cripple us. And why? Because politicians — from BOTH parties — are busy trading our prosperity for votes which enable them to make a career out of politics.
So ultimately, who is responsible for $4 a gallon gas?
We all are. Everyone who has continued to vote politicians into office, politicians who are willing to trade our economic prosperity, our economy, our future, and indeed our liberties for special-interest votes, everyone who has voted for a politician who has placed their political future in front of the needs of this nation is to blame. So in essence, We the People are to blame.
And it is time for We the People to fix what We the People have broken.