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As the Price of Gas Goes Up, Washington’s Energy Policy Silliness Does Too

Posted By Ben Lieberman On June 26, 2008 @ 10:06 am In Energy | Comments Disabled

The laundry list of excuses not to expand access to American oil was never convincing even when gas was $2.00 and gets less so as the price at the pump continues to rise. But the latest round of reasons is downright irrational, with some directly contradicting others. Here’s a rundown of some of the silliness:

  • There’s No Oil Out There, And We’ll Have Massive Spills Of It The “drop in the bucket” brigade still argues that opening up ANWR or the 85 percent of our territorial waters that are currently off limits would provide is far too little additional oil to make even a dent in the price at the pump. But the same folks also try to scare us with fears of massive oil spills, sometimes invoking the memory of major events like the big Santa Barbara spill of 1969. But how bad can a spill be from a drop in the bucket?
  • The Oil Companies Will Destroy the Environment, and Besides They’ll Sit on Their Leases One minute we hear scary predictions of coastal views marred by platform after platform and beaches blackened with gunk should these waters be opened to oil leases. The next we hear the “use it of lose it” conspiracy claims that oil companies want to buy up these leases for the sole purpose of sitting on them and driving up the price. So, are the oil companies bad guys because they want to drill, or bad guys because they don’t want to drill?

Of course the biggest whopper of all is the claim by many politicians that they even care about high gasoline prices. Some of the same legislators who decry their constituent’s pain over $4.00 gas support global warming legislation that would deliberately send gasoline prices through the roof in an effort to force people to use less.


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