The Politics of Oil Prices

Last October, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee unveiled a proposal to increase taxes by 50 cents a gallon of gasoline and jet fuel.

He did it as to protest environmentalist efforts to put the entire burden of conservation on the backs of the auto industry, but his efforts were applauded by many Democrats who believed that gasoline was too inexpensive.

An important part of liberal theology is that American behavior must change if we are going to be able to protect the planet. That means that American consumers should take more public transportation, buy smaller cars, fly less and generally consume a lot less energy.

Today, we have a situation that must make the liberals very happy indeed. GM announced it is not going to be making as many SUVs as it used to. Public transportation is bursting at the seems, unable to keep up with demand. The airlines are cutting way back on the number of flights they take.

Welcome to liberal nirvana.

Who knew it could feel this bad?

Over the last decade, Republicans have tried everything to increase the domestic production of energy, while Democrats have opposed those efforts. For example, 91 percent of House Republicans supported exploring for oil in Alaska, while 86 percent of Democrats opposed it. Ninety-seven percent of Republicans supported efforts to transform coal to liquid; 78 percent of Democrats opposed it. 90 percent of Republicans supported oil shale exploration; 81 percent of Republicans supported exploration of oil on the outer shelf; and 97 percent of Republicans supported efforts to increase refinery capacity. For the Democrats, the numbers were 86, 83 and 96 percent, all in opposition.

Historically speaking, 91 percent of Republicans have voted to increase the production of American-made oil and gas. Eighty-six percent of Democrats have voted against that position.

The fact of the matter is that Democrats don’t like the messy business of oil. They don’t like the profits, they don’t like the environmental implications, they don’t like the Texas swagger, they just don’t like it.

And because they don’t like it, they want to tax it. And when the prices go up as high as they do, the Democrats just love it. They love the fact that more people walk, more people take public transportation, more people drive small, itsy-bitsy little cars.

That explains, in no small measure, why the Democrats have done absolutely nothing to help ease the current situation we are in right now. They aren’t increasing incentives to explore, they are repealing them. They aren’t increase incentives to refine, they are denouncing them. They aren’t doing anything. Inside, they are smiling.

We are getting an early glimpse of how life will work if the Democrats run everything after November.


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