Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gas Prices on the Rise

High gas prices negatively effect every single person in these United States like nothing else. It directly influences the price of nearly every product we purchase from food to medicine and increases the cost of doing business for every industry from the service industry to the construction industry to the manufacturing industry.

Part of that, is due to the logistic changes that have happened in how we move products - now, virtually everything moves by truck. Compounding the issue, American workers travel further than they used to just to go to work.

In the middle (no, it isn't the end) of a recession and some of the highest true unemployment (it's actually a little over 20%) the United States has seen in decades, gas is predicted to hit $4 a gallon again. If this occurs, it would be disastrous to our already fragile economy.

Under a true fair market system, this would only occur due to a market shortage. So, the first question to ask is if there is a shortage of oil.

The answer to that is a resounding "NO!"

Despite that answer, Democrats are talking about releasing oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to artificially increase supply and thus, artificially drive down the price. They want to use the money for electric cars and deficit reduction.

Haven't heard of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? It is the emergency fuel kept by the Department of Energy. It has the capacity to hold about 727 million barrels of oil and is pretty close to that presently. It is supposed to be used for national emergencies, not for electric cars. This is oil that taxpayers buy for our nation in time of crisis.

While the national debt is certainly a national emergency, Democrats would be acting more in the interest of the American people to stop spending instead of selling off our national security assets to the highest bidder.

But back to oil...

Since it isn't a supply problem, what's left? Regulation. Regulation is an artificial encumbrance on the market that interrupts the normal supply and demand of the market. Don't misunderstand, we're not advocating for the removal of all regulation on energy companies. What this country needs is an all of the above strategy towards energy that includes responsible environmental stewardship. All sources of energy should be explored from shale to geothermal, domestic drilling to wind and everything in between.

The dirty little secret is that their are tons of regulatory roadblocks that keep us from being energy independent as a country.

Congressman Lou Barletta gets it. The Democrats need to figure it out or understand that people will pay not only at the pump, but at the grocery store and the pharmacy for their ignorance.

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