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  • Morning Bell: Higher Gas Prices Add to Economic Slump

    Unemployment is at 8.3 percent. The economy is sputtering at 1.5 percent growth. Food prices are rising due to drought conditions across the country. And gas prices are up again, pinching Americans’ summer budgets. It is past time for the President and Congress to pursue smart policies that would put us on a path to relief.

    According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, the current national average for regular is $3.66 per gallon. That’s up 28 cents per gallon from a month ago, and July had its biggest price jump since AAA started tracking prices in 2000.

    There are many factors affecting prices that we cannot control—worldwide tensions, especially in the Middle East, can drive up oil prices. Global demand, especially from China and India’s rapidly growing economies, continues upward.

    But after three years of adding regulatory hurdles and blocking exploratory access and development, President Obama’s policies are helping keep prices higher than necessary.

    If the President truly wanted to lower gas prices, he would work to increase supply. But when given the opportunity, he has done the opposite. He turned down the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada. His Administration has made it even harder for companies to explore and extract domestic energy resources by canceling, delaying, or withdrawing a number of lease sales for exploration and development. Meanwhile, huge swaths of federal lands have been put off limits for energy exploration.

    Domestic refinery outages have had a recent impact on gas prices. Two of the factors holding back domestic energy production are regulatory red tape and litigation—and these, we can do something about. As Heritage’s Nicolas Loris notes:

    Environmental activists delay new energy projects by filing endless administrative appeals and lawsuits. Creating a manageable time frame for permitting and for groups or individuals to contest energy plans would keep potentially cost-effective ventures from being tied up for years in litigation while allowing the public and interested parties to voice opposition or support for these projects.

    We don’t have to stand still. Congress could alleviate the energy crunch in 10 different ways by taking action on things we can control, like restrictions on oil shale development and offshore drilling.

    One of the most common objections is that increasing domestic oil production takes too long and would not impact the market for at least a decade. The longer people make this argument, however, the longer it will take. The sooner we make investments in domestic energy, the sooner those benefits will be realized. And with some serious reforms, some of this oil can reach the market in much less than a decade.

    Gas prices aren’t under the control of any one President. But Americans shouldn’t settle for policies that restrict oil exploration, refining, and production and artificially drive prices higher.


    High Gas Prices: Obama’s Half-Truths vs. Reality

    Obama’s 10 Worst Energy Policies

    Quick Hits:

    • More than 40 percent of immigrants—both legal and illegal—who have been in the U.S. for 20 years are on some type of welfare, according to a new report.
    • The U.S. Navy rescued 10 people from the Gulf of Oman, where their ship flying the Iranian flag had caught fire. “It’s not uncommon for U.S. Navy ships to rescue mariners in distress whatever their nationality,” says ABC.
    • Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill called conservative views “outside of the mainstream” and “dangerous” in an attack on her new opponent Todd Akin, the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary.
    • NASA scientists are “thrilled” with the quality of images the Mars rover Curiosity is sending back, reports the L.A. Times.
    • A new Heritage Legal Memo explains the section of the 1996 welfare reform law that Obama’s Health and Human Services Department has changed—and shows why HHS has no authority to do so.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    28 Responses to Morning Bell: Higher Gas Prices Add to Economic Slump

    1. glynnda says:

      Exactly right…..Congress needs to get moving now and quit being a bunch of cowards about it. The sooner Congress takes measures the sooner recovery will begin. Heritage, you should be putting these messages in TV ads, not just the internet and to the crowd that is bought into your ideas…… You're preaching to the choir here….

      I think it's important especially in this political season to keep the focus on the real issues and problems we are facing because of O-bummer, his administration and the left. Unfortunately it seems once again that the republicans don't know how to effectively counter the left's strategy i.e. focusing on things like some guy lying about how Romney killed his wife for crying out loud….

      Hey Republicans, RNC, Heritage, PACS……can we get some effective advertising going on here? If we keep the focus on the issues, we will WIN and WIN BIG. Sometimes I wonder if some of the "middle of the road republicans" really want to win……

    2. Ben C. says:

      The impact of the Obama agenda has caused companies like Hornbeck Off Shore to move their business to Brazil to keep from going bankrupct. Oh, and isn't it Goerge Soros who invested in off shore drilling in Brazil? The "green agenda" runs much deepr than appears on the surface. Obama is the puppet and Geoge is the puppet master.

    3. Bill Peterson says:

      It is not true that gas prices would not be affected for years if we change our direction today. Gas prices are based on "speculation," on what the demand and supply will be in the "future."

      • glynnda says:

        That's exactly right Bill….and wouldn't the libs in Congress start whining about how speculators are driving oil prices!!!!

    4. toledofan says:

      It's almost unbelieveable that we, the United States, in the 21st century, still don't have a comprehensive energy policy that propels us into tomorrow. I think that the Keystone Pipeline should have been a no brainer, yet, here we are forcing stricter coal emissions, banning drilling, and wasting millions of dollars on green energy that we don't even know what it is yet. It's almost like the left has made global warming into a religion and they refuse to understand or accept the fact that fossil fuels are our main source of energy until solid alterantives are developed and the infastructure put in place to support it's use.

      • glynnda says:

        Nope! It's not "almost like they have made into a religion" …..they have most definitely done it……and it has become the sanctioned religion of our government…..do not doubt that we are being moved right back to where we were before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock….

    5. Burton Brodt says:

      Back when the Carter economy caused gas shortages, and OPEC raised prices through the roof, people said the same thing: it would take ten years to fix. But U.S. oil companies got their drills and refiners working, broke OPEC, got the gas flowing, and brought prices down, all within two years. The "ten year" myth is just an excuse to do nothing.

    6. RennyG says:

      Authority, it is "his" authority. What do you mean "I can't??" Try to stop me!!! Talk to may attornies!!!
      Now what do you think of these comments. "And we do nothing, nothing to stop him!!!"
      Good by America!! I didn't know there were soo many "blind" people in America!!

    7. It is amazing that the President's poll numbers are so high still. We have gotten off message. We need to show the American People where this President is taking us. How many jobs he is costing us. How he is raising our taxes and cost of living. Thousands of small businesses are closing up and putting thousands out of work due to this administrations policies.

    8. mark says:

      Yes go ahead and drill all over the place with no thought about safety or long term repercussions. Cheaper prices at the pump today might mean headaches tomorrow. I save some bucks today but let me see I may release carcinogens and other toxins into the atmosphere. We as older folks found the earth a certain way and we should try our best to leave the same way for those coming after us.

      • glynnda says:

        Mark – your assumptions are inaccurate and long disproven….drilling and refining are safer, cleaner and cheaper than ever. The real concern by the left, EPA, UN, etc. is control. They want control over us…..I'm not willing to give up my freedom…..and I won't. We have been held back by ridiculous court activity, executive orders, federal agencies, etc. that have nothing to do with actual legislation….it is time for America to get back on track as the greatest producers and innovators the world has ever known and quit acting like a bunch of little sissies…..it's really disgusting.

    9. Paul Terry Stone says:

      We don' have the time supposedly that it takes for oil drilling to go on line but we surely have the time it takes to wait for green energy to be effective whether it actually is or not. Obama is the worst enemy that this country's got since he has imposed all of the restrictions on using our own resources and other restrictions besides that we've got. We need to get rid of him if he doesn't declare a national emergency and cancel the elections beforehand.

    10. rstones01 says:

      Anybody still not believe Prezbo is a national socialist? Perhaps not a Marxist per se but for sure a national socialist.

    11. boberic says:

      Obama has been the most successful president oi modern history. If one measures success by accomplishing ones goals then this is certainly true. He set about to fundamentally change the US (his own words) and he is on the path to do exactly that. He wants to destroy the American economy and then remake it in his redristrubitive model. He was educated by radicals and he is fulfilling their teachings. If he is allowed to continue with a majority in either house this nation will be forever altered in ways which will render this nation a third class socialist style country. where all are dependent on government. Our freedoms which so many have given their lives for will be lost. If he is reelected the damage will be perminant. I will not live in such a country

    12. rstones01 says:

      Prezbo cancel elections? A Dem state governor from NC even suggested that. Of course, now she isn't running for reelection. wonder why? LOL

    13. Martha Smith says:

      Start by stopping Ethanol production all it does in your gas tank is gunk up the engin of your vehicle…plus it is taking the corn that is needed to feed the livestock in the USA. This additive to gasoline is another political pay off that should never have been started in the first place.

    14. Pamela says:

      Bottom line on this guy He and all his liberal friends are out to destroy this country and we have allow it to happen. And now, we're S.O.L. UNless every pulls their heads out of their rears and realize where this country is headed and STOP wanting everything for FREE and start wanting to put this country back togerher again and make it great and keep it safe and say to hell to the foreign country the NEVER pay us back what they owe and get OIL FLOWING threw this country again (JOBS) AND people have to work for what they get, evening if it's a paycheck from the government. You all are taking away from the middle class that the idiot wants to destroy. The rich won't be affected and neither will the ones that are doing nothing for the money they want for free. WAKE UP everyone O needs to GO

    15. Not only is there an immediate response to gas prices via speculation for new drilling but liberals have been using the same argument for decades about prices not changing short term. Had we started drilling 30 years, 20 years, 10 years ago even they would have to concede that supply and demand create price. If we don't want to be having this conversation 10 years from now start drilling NOW!

    16. Bobbie says:

      Proven everywhere in the world including here, Mr. Obama's ideas haven't worked better men would bring themselves to admit 3 years ago instead of causing such crisis upon crisis. What did he mean by mentioning his ideas "are working" and America's or Mr. Romney's "doesn't, haven't and won't" to his crowd of agreers when reality and his policies show his "aren't" and America proves hers has and can again with proper leadership? What do the people he speaks to know, that the rest of America the President singles out for severe intentional sacrifice and burdens, he thinks he's misleading to know? He barely addresses the country as a whole! He's a divider. A separatist. He does not tolerate the unity America brings together through the American "culture." He lets everyone take advantage of her culture and challenge her principles and values but he doesn't like the (intricate to him, innate to humanity) "equal rules apply to all in a civil society" part. He wants separate rules for each of his divisions of America's humanity as he clearly shows bias and uses discrimination to build government and lots of costly, inefficient, non productive, unconstitutional, unAmerican make work. Legislate human emotion by his determination to lay on people oblivious to his determination but left to defend themselves like his side pulls anything out of thin air and tells their preyed accused "prove it." In America the accuser would have to show himself a man by having some significance to his accusation. Not when America is run by cowards of the law and fonder of the ability they give themselves to be lawless and hypocrites! America can't have this! America needs proper leadership with people who show principle and dignity to govern her! So far she is left with less honorable, while her opposition comes from some wrongfully educated others' wrongfully influenced, others taken in by a man who isn't white and all his partners in crime…

      "Progress" isn't more government control as is what is happening while government democrats spin the term as if power to the people. Progress is more people living free from government control where power to the people truly is! Less government controls, more liberty people have! More self esteem and self respect!

      Energy and fuel is their political game. It'll come down when everyone's upset for a month or two. Maybe not that long, pretty close to election day…

    17. Manuel Castro says:

      While all the arguments made in the above article about the causes of higher gasoline prices are valid, I am concerned that a significant contribution to current high gasoline prices is caused by the exportation of gasoline to Europe and elsewhere from the gulf coast refineries. Since Brent crude prices in London are approximately 20% higher than West Texas Intermediate, it is logical for the refineries to ship overseas for greater profits than add the product to the domestic market where the profits are less. The same goes for the Keystone pipeline. It should only be approved if Congress mandates that all the oil transported by the pipeline to Texas remains in the US and not exported. We did this with Prudhoe Bay (Alaska) oil to keep it from going to Japan.

    18. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      High gas prices will do in Obama just like they did in Carter in 1980. Welcome back, Carter.

    19. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      "…increasing domestic oil production takes too long and would not impact the market for at least a decade…"
      Which is exactly what they said in refusing to open ANWR up for exploration and extraction, back in 1995.
      It would take a decade before we saw the first drop of oil, and here it is 18-yrs later, and we are now worried that Alaskan oil production will fall off so far that the Trans-Alaska Pipeline will be forced to close for lack of product to pump.
      The enviros always have a reason why something can't be done, but never a solution to a problem that exists.

    20. quipster says:

      welcome back to horse and buggy !!!!!

    21. Jim Beck says:

      Is it not embarassing to look at these young and completely stupid people that are our neighbors who either don't know or don't care about the current status of our elector who are very satisfied to be a serf in a nanny state. Just keep giving us our debt card cash Mr. Obama. Life is good for me and my collection of amusement stuff.

      Without a 1st ammendment press that is supposed to do the vetting of our government, not being the election headquarters of the Democratic Pary, we are doomed. It just the date that now is in play.

      Are not these current Republican representatives the most guttless and sorry bunch we have ever seen.

      It is clear to me that Reps are just ridding this out as long as they can get re-elected. Anyone who plays the cut the budget card will be ousted in the election or the one after. This is why they just let it ride.

      The economic reset and revolution is a coming my friends.

      Be very afraid

    22. We can either produce gas here in the US or we can continue to be beholding to OPEC and the Middle East. Politicians and the EPA need to get out-of-the-way and let American self-reliance go to work on these problems.

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