Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hell in a Hand Basket

Voters are in a funk. They pay more for gas. They pay more to eat. And they are complaining to their politicians. McCain has already proposed a gas tax holiday, now he wants to drill in the Arctic Wildlife Reserve, as well as offshore. These sources of oil are expected to come on line in seven to ten years. I'm confounded: 60% of the voters think we should drill in these areas even though the exploration, drilling, and development will raise oil prices in the long run. These oilfields would add a only tiny amount to our reserves and would not lessen our dependence on foreign oil at all.

Are the American people stupid? Are our politicians cynical? Do the Republicans have more than one note in their energy tune? Who bought off John McCain?

The solution to our energy problem is the answer the American public doesn't want to hear: drive less, conserve more. The best way to encourage that is to price oil appropriately to its demand. Another way to lower the price of oil is to strengthen the dollar. Mr. Bush knows that. Mr. Paulson knows that. Finally, our American auto companies could build cars that are a lot more fuel efficient. Higher gas prices will encourage that. The price we pay now is painful, but so much less than what the pain will be if our country doesn't adopt an energy policy that encourages conservation, alternative energy sources, and more efficient technologies.

Our politicians of every stripe are playing all of us as suckers.