Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why are Gas Prices so High?

Congress has been holding hearings into why gas prices are so high. If you don't think about it, that may not seem completely unreasonable, but it actually is. Big oil, so often made the villain, didn't cause this mess, though they're not perfect and I'm not going to defend them as a whole. A great political parody was done on these hearings. The first part, presented yesterday, may be found here, but the core of it is below. The host, Glenn Beck, is pretending to be a congressman.

We brought together the heads of big oil. See that big head over there? Yeah, he runs Shell. That one? That runs ExxonMobil. Mr. Big oil, we're here to talk about the high price of gasoline. How could it have possibly gotten this high?

Let me tell you what we've done here in congress. We told you that drilling in ANWR is off limits. We told you that drilling off the coast of Florida and California is off limits. We told you, Mr. Big oil, that there wouldn't be any new leases for drilling in the Gulf while China and Venezuela and even Cuba pursued these leases and have just signed 100-year leases on the oil in the Gulf of Mexico. We here in congress have promised, as all three presidential candidates have also promised, to introduce and pass in the next term a cap and trade legislation bill that will increase the price of gasoline according to the EPA by an additional $1.50. Some people say it could be as high as $5 additional per gallon. Order, order. We have said that we're shutting down oil fields in Colorado. We won't let you develop shale oil fields in several Western states. And yesterday we passed legislation that would let us sue OPEC with the full understanding that they'll never retaliate. Yes. We have allowed environmental attorneys to sue you big oil fiends for future possible destruction of Alaskan Eskimo village which legal experts believe is the same strategy used to bring down big tobacco. We're especially proud of our recent action to protect the polar bear and their habitat which just happens to be where the future oil deposits happen to be located. We told you that you're making too much money and that we're looking at seizing any money that we consider windfall profits. Yes. We have allowed you to drill in some very small areas in Alaska while simultaneously creating very generous environmental laws which have tied up the very production we authorize through years of litigation after you spent the money on buying and setting up equipment. We told you through our policies that we would not allow you to build a new refinery in over 30 years. In fact, this great country, under our tutelage, has even reduced the number of operational refineries by half since 1982. Order, order, order. We have even told your potential competitors in the nuclear and hydroelectric industries that we would send the environmental lawyers after them if they even dared think about building a new plant or a new dam. We've refused to fund or allow the deployment of coal-to-oil technology which has been around since the 1930s. We've told you that you have to make different blends of gasoline, let states like California dictate what unique gasoline blends you have to make for them. We will not reduce our federal gasoline tax. We won't even consider reducing it for the summer months. So Mr. Big oil, tell me why exactly are gas prices so high?

More commentary on the hearings was presented today, and may be found here. Simply put, Congress is at fault for the price of gasoline in the United States, not "Big Oil." Worse yet, they're actively denying the development of resources that could help. Thanks, Congress. No wonder they have an approval rating on par with that of toe fungus.


Grovie said...

Great point Andy. I listen to Rush, Hannity and sometimes Beck. I agree with you and I agree with them. Growing up, my step-father worked for a company that did oil and gas exploration right here in the USA. I moved many, many times as a child but I got to see first-hand that there ARE resources available here for us. Congress has indeed tied the hands of this nation and our ability to be independent in the category of resources. As you mentioned in your blog, there are shale fields right here in Colorado where I live. This, to me is like a child in a classroom raising her hand with the answer to a tough question. The only problem is, the teacher won't acknowledge her.

-Bryan aka Sixxgunn

AndrewP said...

I'll be doing a very long post on energy soon. I truly don't understand why Congress is binding our hands with regard to domestic exploration and resource development.

If we don't want to dirty our hands, how elitist an attitude is that? "We won't sully our own country, but you people over in the Middle East, Mexico and South America, you dirty up your lands so we can have oil for our economy."

It doesn't work that way. Our economy runs on oil. We need to get off it, but to do that we need a bridge, and that means domestic exploration.