Today House Democrats appealed to ignorance, in their usual fashion, by summoning executives from the five biggest oil companies to berate them for high gasoline prices. This is fundamentally stupid in at least two respects.
First, these same Democrats purport to be worried about “global warming” and committed to taking strong measures to combat it. Needless to say, the simplest way to reduce carbon consumption, if you really believe that carbon consumption will cause an environmental disaster, is to increase the price of energy. This is why some honest global warming advocates have argued for huge increases in the gasoline tax. Conversely, if the price of gasoline were to decline as House Democrats said they wanted today, the result would be increased consumption and increased carbon emissions. If the Democrats aren’t willing to pay the price to reduce energy consumption (i.e., higher gasoline prices), they should quit yammering about global warming and admit they knew all along that the alarmism was BS.
Second, if you really want the price of gasoline to fall, there is only one way to achieve that goal: increase supply. Yet these very same Democrats have made it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to do so. Had Bill Clinton not vetoed oil development in northern Alaska, enormous amounts of oil would now be flowing to American consumers, reducing the price of gasoline for everyone. Further, as one of the oil executives pointed out today, 85% of our coastline is off-limits to drilling.
In short, pretty much every policy that the Democrats have pursued for the last three decades has contributed to the shortage of oil, and resulting high price of gasoline. For the Democrats to pretend that high prices are the fault of the oil companies–which, unlike the Democrats, actually go to great lengths to bring energy to American consumers–is beyond hypocrisy.
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