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  • Ten Don'ts for Our Government on Gas Prices

    4_gas090303

    As gas prices in the United States continue to soar, policymakers in Washington are eager to point fingers and offer solutions. Most of the ideas are not new, and some are certainly much better than others, but they will inevitably be part of the debate. As legislators turn their attention to gas prices, here’s a straightforward list of what not to do.

    1. Don’t increase subsidies for biofuels. The most popular subsidized biofuel, ethanol, produces less energy per unit volume than does gasoline, contributes to food price increases, costs taxpayers billions of dollars, and has dubious environmental effects. Despite the promise that cellulosic ethanol would be available by now in mass quantities, it’s not. A more prudent approach would be to remove the subsidies and mandates for domestically produced ethanol and remove the tariffs on imported ethanol.

    2. Don’t drag on drilling permits. As the only country in the world that places a majority of its territorial waters off-limits to oil and gas exploration, at the very least we should be drilling in the areas where we do have access. Removing the de facto moratorium on drilling would immediately increase supply, create jobs, and bring in royalty revenue to federal and state governments.

    3. Don’t subsidize electric cars. Taxpayers have doled out billions for advanced battery vehicle development manufacturing, and they subsidize every electric vehicle purchase (from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the battery capacity). Even so, the demand for electric vehicles is low because electric cars are prohibitively costly even with the handouts—as evidence by low electric vehicle sales. Consumer Reports director David Champion remarked that the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were not the panacea everyone hoped for, and Consumer Reports issued quite a critical review of the Volt.

    4. Don’t promote wind, solar, or nuclear as oil alternatives. Democrats and Republicans alike are guilty of claiming that we can end our dependence on foreign oil by increasing wind, solar, and nuclear production. Increasing production of these sources of energy would affect electricity production, not transportation fuels. We use very little oil to produce electricity.

    5. Don’t release the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Neither the intent for establishing the SPR nor the President’s authority to tap it suggests that the release of stocks is appropriate for the current situation. A mere rise in price is not what the reserve was intended to deal with. Releasing SPR would have very little impact on prices at the gas station.

    6. Don’t implement price controls. Price controls were tried before by the federal government in the 1970s, and the consequences were disastrous. The experience showed that attempts to force gasoline prices below market levels invariably result in shortages. Price controls mean that resources do not go to their most efficient use. Another clear example is generators after a hurricane. When Katrina caused massive power outages, the demand for generators rose, and, consequently, prices did as well. Governors implemented price ceilings, and instead of allocating generators efficiently to where they would be valued most (gas stations and grocery stores), they went to employees of Home Depot, their families, and their friends.

    7. Don’t blame speculators. Speculators, at best, marginally increase the price of gasoline if it leads to oil inventories increasing—but only in the short run, because businesses have to unload these inventories. Many fear that this can create a speculative bubble, but as my colleague David Kreutzer points out, speculators can actually help consumers: “If, after a period of simultaneously rising prices and inventories, the inventories are reduced and the price holds steady or rises, then there was no speculative bubble after all. This pattern would instead be confirmation that futures markets anticipated higher prices but didn’t cause higher prices. That is, in aggregate, traders on the futures markets correctly anticipated deteriorating supply and demand conditions, saved petroleum for the worse times, and provided additional barrels when they were most needed.” This is exactly what we saw in 2008. Speculators can also drive prices down in the short run. The reality is that blaming speculators is a costly diversion to real solutions.

    8. Don’t implement a windfall-profits tax. Criticizing big oil companies and their big profits is very popular, but it won’t help consumers by taxing them. The windfall-profits tax (WPT) is an excise tax on oil when its price exceeds some predetermined level. One Member of Congress introduced legislation in 2005 that would have imposed a 50 percent tax on the price of oil above $40 per barrel. There is a considerable populist appeal to taking more in taxes from big oil at a time when they can most easily afford it and giving the proceeds to taxpayers when they are straining to pay high energy costs. But the last time the WPT was tried, it backfired badly. It discouraged expansion of domestic energy supplies and led to increased oil imports.

    9. Don’t fear monger about peak oil. Three decades ago, proven world oil reserves were 645 billion barrels; five years ago, it was 1.28 trillion, and in 2009, it was 1.34 trillion. New, innovative technologies and sound policies to allow access will help to recover that oil and discover more. Yes, oil is a finite resource, but the market will do a much better job determining how and when we transition away from fossil fuels.

    10. Don’t block access to our resources. At least 19 billion barrels of easily recoverable oil lie off the currently restricted Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Another 19 billion barrels estimated to be in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast are inaccessible because of onerous regulations, such as acquiring air-quality permits. Another obvious and senseless restriction is in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil lie beneath a few thousand acres that can be accessed with minimal environmental impact. While it would take time to get this oil from the ground and the pump, we should set the policies in place to allow companies to explore and extract if a commercial interest exists.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    52 Responses to Ten Don'ts for Our Government on Gas Prices

    1. Pingback: Ten Dont’s for Our Government on Gas Prices

    2. Rich weirton, wv says:

      10 does for our government on gas prices:

      1. Drill here, drill now!

      2. Drill here, drill now!

      3. Drill here, drill now!

      4. Drill here, drill now!

      5. Drill here, drill now!

      6. Drill here, drill now!

      7. Drill here, drill now!

      8. Drill here, drill now!

      9. Drill here, drill now!

      10.Drill here, drill now!

      Vote Sarah Palin, 2012!! Drill, baby, drill!!!!!

    3. West Texan says:

      I personally believe natural gas is our best hope regarding transportation. Seriously, Once demand is there, the supporting infrastructure will soon follow. All the fed needs to do, unless they can show a necessary link to national defense, is to stay the heck out of it.

    4. Joy Crouch, Abilene says:

      I remember the 70's, getting up at 3:00 or 4:00 am, getting in long lines at the pump before the sun was up. Do we want to go back to that? This list is the most logical approach.

      • I am 53 years old and remember the 70s very well. Gas prices in the early 70s was as little as 45 cents per gallon and there was surely never a line & they pumped it for you while cleaning your windshild & and always asked to check for oil. What Country did you grow up in ?

    5. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    6. Brian, PA says:

      Since the "don't" list includes no subsidies for Biofuels and electric cars, and the conservative mantra also includes no subsidies for wind and solar power, let's also eliminate all subsidies for oil companies! Really now…if you're going to subsidize one industry, you must subsidize all. So let's subsidize none!

    7. William says:

      # 11. Don't concern themselves with the billions in profit oil companies are making.

    8. Ace Sez Bishop, Cali says:

      Some where in the middle of Clinton's second term in office–one Saturday when no one was lookin' he removed (by executive order) the restrictions that preserved all Prudhome Bay petroleum production for exclusive use by the people of the USA Conspiring with the maritime unions he opened the production to access by China—as long as the oil was transported on ships manned by US maritime union employees..

      This had a detrimental effect on west coast refineries but the media kept very still about this matter– Today no one seems to be aware the China is buying the lion's share of crude that was originally to be available for USA citizens.

      At about the same time the Dept. of the Interior sold off the miliary reserves oil field in Bakersfield, Ca. to Senator Gore Sr. (Oxcedental Petroleum) as a declaration that the Gov't was getting out of the oil business–still no discusssions from the media??

      Our Presidents are not to be trusted–especially the Democrat ones??

    9. Ferrin J Rex - Mount says:

      What we the people need are elected officials to become statesmen. As such they would put the good of all citizens first. Hopefully, then the politicians position of always pleasing those who applaud them would be significantly diminished.

      Extremism is a high degree of being selfish. It needs to be moderated. This would go a long way to allow us ( citizens ) the freedom we cherish. The freedom that the constitution was established and is supported by us to provide.

      We need statesmen who will recognize that government is hurting our production of crude oil. Yes there have been problems! but Please let our knowledge and the experience obtained from those problems not shut us from developing the known bodies of crude oil. Help us be wise stewards of our resources. We do not need extreme governing of our known oil resources. Mistakes are to learn from and not to shut us out from using wisely what we have.

    10. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 3.10.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    11. Enzo, South says:

      Can Heritage plaster some billboards blaming Obama for the gas prices due to the Permitorium?

      How about any ad? Some sticker to stick on posts at gas pumps? We are missing an opportunity to bring this guy down so far, even the biased pollsters won't be able to skew or over-sample to get that 10% bump ( I don't believe he is anywhere near 47% in approval. No way.)

    12. Mike, Rochester says:

      Looks like you took Obama's wish list and put "Don't" in front of every item.

    13. Old Country Boy, Okl says:

      Brian, PA on March 10th, 2011 at 11:11am

      OK, you shot your keyboard off. You say we are subsidizing the oil companies. Show me where. Give me one factual (not wikipedia) example with links. What is the source of your example? Does the source have a dog in the fight?

      I am truly tired of hearing the term "conservative mantra" from the underdeveloped brains of the progressives, particularly when you are just mindlessly spouting the progressive/socialist anti-American pap.

      I do agree that we should stop all subsidies to alternate and main-line energy. Stop ethanol if you can. It makes no sense to substitute ten percent of gallon of gasoline with ethanol which has half the energy, and harms small engines everywhere. Do that and you will get more miles per gallon and your cornflakes will be cheaper.

    14. billadams says:

      In your article, "oil is a finite resource". This may not be true. More people are coming to believe that hydrocarbons are naturally produced, on earth by the heat and chemicals between crust and mantle, deep down. Catholic Fundamentalism explores this, and wonders why, for instance, there are hydrocarbons in the form of methane (CH4) on Titan, one of Jupiter's moons, on which no dinosaurs are known to have lived.

      The thought that oil is a "fossil fuel" is one of the biggest lies ever told for the longest time. Oil just keeps on coming, in some areas, and the people who own the wells will tell lots of lies to keep more people from drilling.

    15. Sam Cox, Loveland CO says:

      I agree with Brian, PA @11:20 2011-03-10 — "So let’s subsidize none!"

    16. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Brain PA – Tell us, how much does biofuels, electric cars, wind and solar combined contribute to the overall economical value of the U.S.? I'll answer. less that 5%. On the other hand, oil effects every aspect of our daily lives, not just gas for our cars. From food to light to heat/cooling our homes. More than 95% of our economical well being is provided through the oil industry. Do you not understand that without subsidies for oil producers, the price of everything will rise to the point it would alter our American way of life?

    17. Blake, CA says:

      Brian and William, Oil companies pay billions in taxes every year. In fact, the federal government makes more from a gallon of gasoline than oil companies do. You cannot rightfully claim oil companies are subsidized if they pay taxes. Wind and solar require massive loan guarantees and incredible tax breaks in order to be competitive.

      When was the last time you heard of government subsidizing the construction of a refinery or drilling platform via loan guarantees and massive tax breaks? I'll give you a clue: It doesn't happen.

    18. John Pearson, River says:

      Nicolas,

      You leave out all the shale oil resources our government is so reluctant to exploit. We have at least 1.7 TRILLION barrels of proven reserves resting in shale deposits, especially the Green River formation. Compare that to the entire world supply of proven reserves you cited (1.34 trillion barrels in 2009).More than 70% of this oil-rich land is held by the federal government- and they don't seem too interested in extracting it.

      Moreover, we've found massive deposits of natural gas in the past 2-3 years. Enough to keep us at current American usage levels for 100+ years. We have way more than enough fossil fuel to get by for 100's of years- even if we don't find any new deposits or import a single drop of oil.

      The key to America's future is overcoming the Greens. They are entrenched everywhere! Greens profoundly influence major corporations like GE and Waste Management. They indoctrinate the youth in our schools. They brainwash the general public through political correctness in the media.They rule by fiat through local, state, and federal government control. America's power structure is completely infested with "watermelons". . They're green on the outside, red on the inside!

    19. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Rich,

      I like all ten of your ideas. Each one shoudl be implemented NOW!

      We can thank Bernanki for the price of gas. His Quantitative Easing is starting to have an effect Pretty soon we will be paying over $4 to $5 for a gallon of milk.

      By printing money to pay off debt, the value of the dollar is plummeting. When the dollar is worthless, we are not getting paid any more (THERE IS NO MORE MONEY LEFT) but that wont stop the price of things to skyrocket.

      THis is what happens when we have an impoversed nation. One that was build by Obama and Bush for needless and agregious federal spending. Bu following the principal that we muc do what we do – AT ALL COST. That money is not a factor. Well I guess we are seeing that MONEY WAS A FACTOR AFTER ALL!

      Thanks to the DoD and to the DHHS we are in permanent debt!

    20. Jim Philadelphia says:

      How about all oil recovered in the U.S stays in the U.S and if it is exported, tax the hell out of it. Then open the Gulf, N & S Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska for oil and natural gas.

      I'd also tax the hell out of exported food.

    21. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Nicolas! That is exactly what the Left wants to do! Every wrong thing! You are so perceptive, I only wish Policy Makers were loyal Americans, but in the Obama Government (all Communists, and incompetent) they flaunt all Rule of Law, they can do anything they want with Americans! Steal your job, wreck your children's education! Anything they want to do! I hope the Media takes your example, so many of Obama's Policies are sorcery, deception above the People's heads!

      No dear hearts! Demo-crats are not loyal Americans! They do exact wrong things because they serve the Foreign Interest!

    22. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      William, the Government makes more 'profit' than those 'greedy' Oil Companies do! We pay it, we the Consumers! You put more tax on Oil? Don't pretend somebody other than American Citizens will pay! I'll tell you who is Greedy! The Obama Gangsters! They want all the money there will ever be!

    23. Mike_K, California says:

      William on March 10th, 2011 at 11:30am said:

      # 11. Don’t concern themselves with the billions in profit oil companies are making.

      Exactly. Don't be an economic illiterate. The actual return on investment of oil companies is low and often negative, as after Reagan lifted Carter's price controls.

    24. TheOldMan, Los Gatos says:

      Candidate Obama stated that energy prices would soar under his administration (he specifically mentioned electricty). Candidate Obama supported cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and so on. Candidate Obama was elected by a wide margin. The voters got what they wanted. OTOH a President cannot do much in the short term to affect the price of gasoline however a President+Congress can do quite a bit of damage in the longterm. I recall that Clinton said that there was no point in exploring in ANWR since the oil would not be available for ten years anyway. Almost exactly ten years later (07/08) prices spiked…hmm that ANWR oil would certainly have been helpful.

    25. MIke, Michigan says:

      I think you can safely assume that if you remove the word "Don't" from each of these items, you will have an accurate snapshot of the current administrations "plan" concerning fuel.

    26. Jeff Miller - Mounta says:

      Nicolas, that's an excellent list. I agree with every point.

      Ferrin, the problem with your suggestion is that neither our elected officials nor the people who elect them know what's in their best interests. Neither of them could pass a basic Economics exam if their life depended on it. For nearly a century, our population has been electing those who promise them the most largesse from the public treasury, fully expecting someone else to pay for it. As FDR privately said, "I fear we are breaking the back of America's rugged individualism" — one of the few times he was right.

      Barry Goldwater said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue! "

      Perhaps you should come down from your idealistic Rocky Mountain High and read a good book. I suggest "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand.

    27. Shelgeyr, Dallas TX says:

      Love the list.

      Minor point about item #9: Despite ongoing mainstream (in America) criticism, even from sources like "Wikipedia", the understanding that petroleum is NOT a fossil fuel, and in fact has an abiogenic origin, is growing. Often dismissed as "discredited", it is however the reason ultra-deep wells, from deposits well outside of and far hotter than the "oil window", or far below the "salt layer", are even possible.

      Implications? Well, oil is still finite, but only in the sense that the Earth itself is finite. More importantly, oil is a renewable resource – the Earth is continuously creating more.

      So answer back to those screaming that we're consuming limited "fossil" deposits – “No we're not.”

      Oil is not of biological origin, it is a mineral resource.

      To quote briefly from a long article from the Houston Geological Society:

      "Evidence is mounting that the Earth is encircled by subtle necklaces of interconnecting, generally latitude-parallel faults. Many major mineral and energy resource accumulations are located within or near the deeply penetrating fractures of these “cracks of the world.” (and from much further down in the article) "Much of the world’s major energy resource accumulations seem to be associated with the deeply penetrating fractures of the cracks of the world. These global cracks control the ascension of magmatic and hydrothermal fluids from depth. Under reduced conditions these fluids may be hydrocarbon stable and could be responsible for fractionation of extensive amounts of hydrocarbon during cooling and deposition in low-pressure sites of the cracks of the world."

      The entire article is located here: http://www.hgs.org/en/art/?34

    28. Dat_Truth_Hurts says:

      #12 Fail to explain the difference between profits and profit margins to people like William.

    29. uncleFred, New Engla says:

      While natural gas has reasonable prospects as an alternative fuel for transportation, the real place we should focus is oil from oil shale.

      The oil extracted from oil shale is comparable to light sweet crude and can be processed by existing refineries. Even conservative estimates put the amount available in existing fields at over a trillion barrels. Along with it are tens of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.

      Recently a study was published that shows that western Europe's oil shale reserves are comparable to ours.

      Senate actions have stalled further development of oil shale extraction, but in 2008 Shell and it's partners estimated that they would be able to harvest oil from oil shale and make a profit at (roughly) $35 barrel in 2008 dollars. There was speculation that as the technology matured the price could drop as low as $28 a barrel (again 2008 dollars). By Senatorial edict no significant progress has been made.

      If allowed to do so, market forces would solve the "energy shortage" in under a decade. Our energy problems, both price and availability, are a political creation. We need to end the restrictions on moving beyond the prototype phase for in ground extraction and offer incentives to perfect that technology.

    30. DonM says:

      Fischer Tropf process creates synthetic oil, and can use either coal or natural gas feed stocks.

      What is needed is money making speculation: Selling oil when the price is high, and buying it when it is low. One way to do that is to use the national petroleum reserve, and set a high (sell) price and a low (buy) price. That makes it less likely that OPEC can act to prevent development of alternatives with an occasional high production rate/low cost interval to drive alternative producers out of business, while profiting from low production/high cost intervals after the alternative producers have failed.

      At least such a program would gain income from such an OPEC strategy, effectively putting a tax on such behavior.

    31. BunnySlippers, Color says:

      Very good article.

      Those subsidies you hate so much are, for the most part, straight forward. There's a tax break for stripper wells–those that produce just a few barrels/d (there are thousands of these) and would be shut-in without the tax break because of high operating costs. To do away with this tax break would only reduce oil supplies by tens of thousands of barrels/day.

      The other main tax break is for idc's–intangible drilling costs. I guess you can call these subsidies, but they've been around since the 1920s and are very similar to the tax breaks every industry gets. Exploration is very cost intensive and so certain costs are expensed rather than depreciated. Nothing real magical here, but every industry has something like this.

      To Ace Sez Bishop–Clinton did that because oil is fungible. We send Prudhoe Bay oil to China and Indonesian oil ends up in Long Beach. Its allocated by the market and has not affected U.S. supplies one whit. California prices are high because of taxes and exotic blends the state mandates and can't be found anywhere else. Its a function of gasoline supply (we import over 1 million barrels/d of motor gasoline–none to the west coast because nobody makes the kind of gasoline they demand), not oil supply.

      Yes, the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve was sold to Occidental Petroleum, headed by Armand Hammer, not Senator Gore. It made billions for the U.S. government and, owing to accelerated development by Oxy, has increased oil supplies in California. Its utility as a reserve was de minimas in a world of just in time inventories. It would take years to get it all out and thus would have almost no impact on a crisis.

    32. Mr. Blanston, Califo says:

      Your argument against blaming the speculators is unconvincing. Why are we here in the first place if it's not for panicky speculation that something real bad might happen to disrupt supply at some point real soon (insert unlimited exclamation marks here as needed for emphasis)?

    33. Don Harper, Lubbock, says:

      My company recently investigated the possibility of converting our fleet to compressed natural gas. We talked to a maintenence engineer with the local gas company thinking that their fleet ran on cng, but he told us they had gone back to gasoline and desiel a couple of years ago because of the high cost of maintaining cng vehicles. Disappointing.

    34. Barbara Roberts, Lyn says:

      As usual, Heritage Foundation is upholding American principal while the current administration has its head in sand. It is also discomforting that congress is not holding Obama's feet to the fire with any noticeable degree of intensity. We may need to change the national motto from E Pluribus Unim to "Whatever".

    35. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      The oil industry, at least "small oil", is not subsidized, but it does get tax breaks for certain operations. The former is wealth redistribution; the latter is simply less income/wealth confiscation. I do not favor subsidies for any industry, but all industries should get equal tax breaks. Let all energy industries compete on a level playing field for the consumer's dollar.

      I appreciate the DOE making themselves useful by researching and publishing oil reserves in various basins across the fruited plain. What's the point however if other alphabet soup agencies, environmental groups and sympathetic courts put those areas off limits to development? Why should DOE continue to be funded if their work is essentially ignored?

    36. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » TEN THINGS NOT TO DO, in response to soaring gas prices….

    37. Pingback: 10 Things Not To Do about Gas Prices | Ken Nelson

    38. Brian, MS says:

      OP:

      “If, after a period of simultaneously rising prices and inventories, the inventories are reduced and the price holds steady or rises, then there was no speculative bubble after all. This pattern would instead be confirmation that futures markets anticipated higher prices but didn’t cause higher prices. That is, in aggregate, traders on the futures markets correctly anticipated deteriorating supply and demand conditions, saved petroleum for the worse times, and provided additional barrels when they were most needed.” This is exactly what we saw in 2008.

      Me:

      The claim that "the inventories are reduced and the price holds steady or rises" was "exactly what we saw in 2008" is flatly untrue. Here is a US government spreadsheet containing national average gasoline prices by grade and formulation for every week since 20 Aug 1990:

      http://www.eia.gov/oog/ftparea/wogirs/xls/pswrgvw

      The data from 2008 span lines 904–956. There you can see that average gasoline (all formulation, all grades) prices peaked at $4.16/gal in the week of 7 Jul, and by year's end had fallen more than 50% to $1.67/gal. (These numbers are from the All Grades, All Formulations data in Column M, but the point would stand if you used the column of your choosing.)

      The bust was even more pronounced in crude oil, with the WTI spot price falling by nearly 80% from a peak of $147 on 11 Jul 08 to $30 on 23 Dec 08.

      2008 was a speculative bubble, and it won't do anyone any good to pretend it wasn't. It may very well be that speculation is good for consumers over the long-term, with bubble highs more than offset by post-crash lows. It may also be that speculation is bad for consumers on net, but that any solution would have unintended consequences that may be much worse. (I'm inclined to this latter view myself.)

      Of course there is some finite probability that 2011 oil prices are not in a speculative bubble. But this hypothesis cannot be supported with factual claims about 2008 that aren't true.

    39. richard40 says:

      You listed a bunch of things the gov should not do. It looks like the only sensible things they CAN do is drill baby drill, and possibly to remove tarriffs on ethanol imports.

    40. Steve Plunk, Medford says:

      The oil futures market of today has changed from what it was. Hedge Funds and leveraged gamblers have taken over the market as they gamble with other people's money. Many of these panicky traders will buy and sell on rumors instead of facts.

      While some amount of futures buying does temper the market it is the recent injection of these huge sums from non users that has distorted prices. It's as if everyone started investing in Emus or Alpacas. The big difference is this speculative bubble destroys entire economies and has lasting effects on every citizen.

      The old ideas regarding speculators don't work anymore.

    41. David H Texas says:

      I agree good segment, also the Bakkan shale field in Montana and North Dakota has 3 billion to 4.3 billion barrels of known crude oil deposit, just waiting for production. Americans need oil and we have the means to drill and recover the oil.

    42. Corky, Howey in the says:

      I read these comments with interest. Several have great merit and some are from "ill informed" (trying to be nice here) fellow Americans. The root of our problem starts at the TOP and is been coming for a while. The present Administration and the way it operates has pushed us to the very edge of "the point of no return." Of coarse we are all concerned about fuel prices because it effects our way of life. But, look back at the last two and half years and SEE the pattern. IF we do not come together as one People and stop the direction we are going then gasoline prices will be the very least of our worried.

    43. Corky, Howey in the says:

      I read these comments with interest. Several have great merit and some are from "ill informed" (trying to be nice here) fellow Americans. The root of our problem starts at the TOP and has been coming for some time. The present Administration and the way it operates has pushed us to the very edge of "the point of no return." Of coarse we are all concerned about fuel prices because it effects our way of life. But, look back at the last two and half years and SEE the pattern. IF we do not come together as one People and stop the direction we are going then gasoline prices will be the very least of our worried.

    44. aaron, detroit says:

      Every domestic barrel produced reduces our trade deficit by nearly double the value. It does the same for tax revenue; the profit increases revenue and it's one less expense written off.

    45. Bobbie says:

      So much of what can be done, the president does much of nothing to get done.

    46. Perry, Michigan USA says:

      I agree with most of these points, but the main thing I agree on is to unshackle the oil companies to get oil from our own back yard. We have FUNDED TERRORISM every time we pull up to the pump, and I am sick of it. I would rather we get our own oil right here in the US and STOP importing our oil to Canada and other countries. It's time we take care of our own people instead of fleecing them and forcing them to buy quirky devices that only make politicians and their friends and lobbyists rich on the backs of the common man. As for oil speculators, we suffered a horrific raping in the summer of 2008 because "speculators" manipulated the price of oil, and the liberal congress was all too happy to see President Bush get the blame because of his ties to Big Oil, when they were the ones that are responsible for this mess as they fight any attempts to drill oil here at home. They would rather support terrorists perhaps?

    47. Doug Thompson Lackaw says:

      This post is right on the mark. We need to expand our exploration and drilling for AMERICAN oil. All this alternative energy nonsense will not power my 4×4 V-8 SUV that I'll never give up. This winter it has been winter in Buffalo. I don't think it will run to well with a wind mill or solar panels on the roof. It's not flex fuel either so I need good old regular grade gasoline and they could leave out the 10% ethanol as alcohol attracts water. I live in sight of a wind farm and there are days the mills don't turn, what do they do then used candles?

    48. bobg says:

      I agree with John Pearson who says we need to curb the "greens" who have blocked all areas of development for petroleum exploration and production. They said drill elsewhere. There isn't any oil elsewhere. Oil exists in well established fields around the country. If you can't drill there, where can you drill successfully?

      Translate "successfully" to mean productionwise. These are not water wells. You don't drill down 30 feet to "Bedrock" and bring in an artesian well. You drill thousands of feet, spend millions of dollars (a thousnd dollars or more /foot), and many times get a very expensive dry hole in this business. Open up the known oilfields to drilling and lets get on with it. The worst thing that can happen is to break a drillstem at ten thousand feet down in a fifteen thousand footwell. It is a very expensive business to be in. The drill bits cost high 5 figures, folks.

      I'm not an oil man but do have several friends in the business. (I am an artist. There is a different story.)

      bobg

    49. Scott Hedrick, Old T says:

      "Really now…if you’re going to subsidize one industry, you must subsidize all. "

      Why?

      That's the same logic that says, if you can't catch and deport all of the illegals, you shouldn't deport any. Gee, we can't catch all murderers, so we shouldn't punish any.

      As it happens, I agree that we should not subsidize any industries, but your sentence above is just silly.

    50. Swami says:

      Oil companies aren't subsidized. They are merely not taxed as much as some short sighted people want them to be.

      This is in stark contrast to the electric cars and the alternative fuels. Those industries get money given to them, in addition to all the legal writeoffs any business is entitled to.

      There is a huge difference between saying "here, take a billion dollars, knock yourself out" and "I could force you to give me a billion dollars, but I'm not going to."

      Calling the latter a subsidy is like calling a mugging a gift because the robber took only a hundred bucks, not the whole two hundred in your wallet.

    51. Pingback: Conservative News from Conservative Bloggers » Blog Archive » TEN THINGS NOT TO DO, in response to soaring gas prices….

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