I filled up my gas tank yesterday. The debit card/cash price was $4.23 a gallon at the cheapest place in town. The total bill was $64.25. The good news is that I no longer have a 66-mile round-trip commute to work 5 days a week anymore and that if worst came to absolute worst, I would have no problem walking to and from work.
However, there are many Americans that don’t have that luxury. President Obama doesn’t have the “I feel your pain” gene that his Democrat predecessor Bill Clinton had, and his initial response to high gas prices was “let them get a hybrid subcompact car.”
Subsequently, (like every president of both parties before him) he’s directed his attorney general to investigate to see if there is collusion or price-fixing going on in the domestic oil and gas industry. Like every president before him, Obama won’t find any collusion because there isn’t any (domestically). If you’re wondering who’s causing the high prices, it’s called OPEC, and it only has the power it does because we stubbornly refuse to drill for the oil that we have available here.
If you’re wondering if Obama really is concerned about high gas prices, Victor Davis Hanson last week gave plenty of evidence that he isn’t:
In 2008, Sen. Ken Salazar (D., Colo.) — now secretary of the interior, in charge of the leasing of federal oil lands — refused to vote for any new offshore drilling. In a Senate exchange with minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), Salazar objected to allowing any drilling on America’s outer continental shelf — even if gas prices reached $10 a gallon. We can now see why the president appointed Salazar, inasmuch as Obama recently promised the Brazilians that he would be eager to buy their newfound offshore oil — while prohibiting similar exploration here at home.
From 2007 to 2008, Steven Chu, now secretary of energy, weighed in frequently on global warming and the desirable price of traditional energy. At one point Chu asserted, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Chu also lamented, “We have lots of fossil fuel; that’s really both good and bad news. We won’t run out of energy, but there’s enough carbon in the ground to really cook us.”
In other words, $10 a gallon for gas would be desirable, while an enormous amount of recoverable American oil, gas, coal, tar sands, and oil shale should be left untapped.
During the 2008 campaign, Obama himself had strange ideas about the prospect of expensive prices for fossil-fuel-generated energy: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Candidate Obama also elaborated on the envisioned role of his administration in ensuring such high prices: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”
In 2008, Obama addressed consumer fears about climbing gas prices: “But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much.”
In regard to the last statement, Obama apparently understands modern computer-controlled engines just as much as he understands basic economics.
And where’s the media been?
It was easy (and false and lazy) to blame two oilmen when prices last skyrocketed to these levels in 2008. Now, the press can’t seem to connect Obama’s moratorium on issuing offshore drilling permits and other petroleum-restricting regulator actions.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Jack Kelly has accurately characterized Obama’s faux concern over high gas prices:
The president may not mind higher gasoline prices, but he doesn't want to take the blame for them. So he's pretending to do something about them, while actually doing nothing. Attorney General Eric Holder will investigate whether "speculators" have been driving up prices, Mr. Obama has announced.
This is like O.J. Simpson's search for "the real killers." But the irony is lost on most in the "mainstream" media.
If gas prices are this high one year from now, Obama won’t get a second term.