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Gas Prices Are High Because the Liberals Want It that Way

Numerous pronouncements in the past from the president and leading Democrats show that high fuel prices aren't a bug, they're a feature.

by
Gary Wickert

Bio

May 12, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Obama’s six-month moratorium cost more than $2.7 billion in economic activity worldwide and $2.1 billion in the Gulf communities. It cost thousands of jobs and significantly reduced our domestic oil production — contributing to the high cost of gasoline. Obama has shut down much of the domestic oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, East Coast, and West Coast. The U.S. used to produce daily 10 million barrels; now we are at 7 million barrels, and we will soon be at 6 million barrels.

When the heat of high gas prices hits the White House, they default to their usual mantra of blaming Big Oil. They point to oil company profits and insinuate that these profits are from the sale of gas. However, oil companies have an anemic profit margin on the sale of gasoline — around 6%. This means that while the oil companies see a profit of around 24 cents from the gallon of gas you pay $4.00 for, the government sees a profit of 50 cents in taxes and other charges. It is the government who is gouging and needs to be investigated — not the oil companies.

Something you’ll never hear from our president is that most oil companies simply sell crude oil they produce to other companies who have refining capabilities who in turn sell to independent distributors and retailers. They set the price of gasoline and at every stage of the process people are trying to buy low and sell high. But oil companies make good villains for anybody who dislikes capitalism and the free market economy. Lest we forget, the anemic profit oil companies make on gasoline is the only reason oil companies provide us with gasoline in the first place.

Every three years the price of gas goes up and the left attacks the oil companies. Obama looks at profits as something evil and does not understand that profits are needed to explore for new oil and replace quality reserves. He does not realize — or refuses to acknowledge — that one oil platform alone can cost $1 billion. The left doesn’t understand that higher taxes make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil, increasing the cost of gas at the pump.

And my how the story changes when high gas prices occur during the Obama administration as opposed to the Bush administration. In 2006, the Democrats cried foul over high gas prices. Nancy Pelosi said, “We are seeing a government run for the oil companies.” When the Democrats took control of the House and Senate, gas prices were at $2.33 per gallon. Senator Barack Obama used high gas prices to get elected, telling people on the campaign trail that he felt their pain.

“I met a guy who couldn’t go on a job search because of the high price of gas,” Obama said in 2008. “I met a teacher in South Dakota who loved her job as a teacher on an Indian reservation, but she had to quit because the drive was too far — it was taking up too much of her paycheck. I know how bad people are hurting.” But he apparently doesn’t feel your pain anymore. In fact, he blames you for high gas prices. Recently, he was asked if he still felt our pain, and he responded, “If you’re complaining about the price of gas and only getting eight miles per gallon – you, uh, know — you may have a big family but it’s probably not that big.”

The media destroyed George Bush over gas prices saying it would destroy the country. But today the media portrays high gas prices as something positive. “Higher gas prices are forcing us to search for alternative fuels and more fuel-efficient cars,” said Priya David on CBS News. “And there are other reasons to be optimistic about the high cost of gas.” So there you go. It’s a good thing.

Obama’s policies are intentionally reducing the supply of gasoline and crude oil just as world demand goes up. One must conclude based on his actions that he doesn’t object to gas at $4.00 a gallon. Inflammatory? It shouldn’t be. In 2008 he said, “I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment [in the rising cost of gas]. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money in their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more rapidly, particularly U.S. automakers.”

A president who truly wants lower gas prices can increase the supply of oil by opening up more areas offshore and in ANWR for domestic drilling and easing regulations. We have plenty of domestic resources to drill, and plenty of companies willing to drill for it if the left and their misguided environmental, big-government and anti-capitalist policies would just get out of the way. Increased domestic production would stimulate U.S. job growth and provide a tremendous boost to our economy. It would lower gas prices, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and shield us from the effects of instability in the Middle East and price fixing by OPEC.

But these things aren’t going to happen if the president wants just the opposite. The result of our president’s policies has been decreasing oil production, increasing gas prices, and a mass exodus of oil companies sending operations and rigs overseas to “greener” pastures.

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Gary Wickert is a board-certified trial lawyer, living in Cedarburg, Wisconsin with his wife and two sons. He has a political column in Reality News and has been an op-ed contributor for Ozaukee County's News Graphic as well as a feature writer for several Wisconsin magazines. He is also the author of several legal treatises on a variety of subjects and currently serves as supervisor in the town of Cedarburg. In 2011, Gary lost a bid for the Wisconsin Assembly in the Republican Primary by 72 votes.
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