Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Energy Price Shock Is Our Own Damn Fault

Want to know why gasoline prices are so high? Look in the mirror.

This country has failed to confront the energy issue for more than 30 years, despite repeated warnings starting with the 1973 OPEC embargo right up to the present.

Misguided environmental laws have prevented any new refineries from being built over that period, and special gasoline blends for different regions of the country make it impossible to alleviate shortages in one area by shipping in fuel from another. Our refineries, which produce gasoline and other petrochemicals are running full out and still can’t keep up with demand.

We cannot drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuse, we can’t drill off the West Coast, the East Coast or the Coast of Florida.

We can’t use nuclear power.

Even at today’s prices, American energy is so cheap by world standards it keeps any alternatives off the market.

Higher oil and gas and gasoline prices are here to stay, and likely to climb only higher as our dependence on OPEC continues to grow in a world where supply disruptions are just a terrorist bomb away.

Moreover, we are competing with new drivers and energy users in China, India and other rapidly industrializing countries.

Congress’s solution: Investigate the oil companies; trump up charges of gouging; perhaps pass a new Windfall Profit Tax. The result will be even less drilling as investment dollars are siphoned out of the hands of drillers and into the pockets of government. Then they can sit around and still do nothing, smug in the knowledge that they have shifted the blame once again.

Higher gasoline prices? You asked for it. You got it.

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