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by
AWR Hawkins

Bio

January 2, 2011 - 12:00 am

While campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama spoke to the $4 a gallon gasoline prices Americans were facing by making it clear he had no problem with gas prices at that level. He simply “would have preferred a gradual adjustment” toward that price. In other words, he wasn’t bothered that gasoline hit $4 a gallon, just that it did so too quickly.

Fortunately for the American consumer, shortly after fuel prices had skyrocketed to those levels they dropped enough that when Obama took office they were hovering around $1.81 a gallon. But two years into the Obama presidency, and one offshore drilling moratorium later, prices are well over $3 a gallon in much of the country and climbing fast.

This is all further exasperated by the fact that Obama’s Interior secretary, Ken Salazar (D-CO), has proven himself as staunchly opposed to new drilling onshore as he is toward drilling offshore. That’s right: In places far away from ocean waters, places like Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado, Salazar is doing all he can to curtail the issuance of any new exploratory leases for oil and gas.  He says he doesn’t want to expand drilling into places where drilling leases don’t currently exist, which is just liberal-speak for “we’re not going to increase drilling for fossil fuels.”

Hardcore liberals like Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her ilk have defended Obama and Salazar’s opposition to drilling by claiming the immediate impact of expanded drilling now would be less than a 1% increase in our oil supply over current levels and the long-term impact would not be felt significantly at the pump for ten years. Yet even if we grant these assumptive numbers for the sake of argument, the question that comes to my mind is: “Why didn’t Democrats want to expand drilling ten years ago?” (If we’d started drilling in ANWR during George W. Bush’s first year in office, we’d be reaping lower prices at the pump right now.)

This issue is frustrating because even a child can see that as demand for fuel grows, the leases we have at present will necessarily prove insufficient to meet the higher demand, therefore causing gasoline prices to soar. Therefore, to make sense of this mess we have to keep in mind that Obama doesn’t want low gas prices to begin with. Remember: In 2008 he wasn’t bothered by the fact that they hit $4 a gallon, just that they did so too quickly.

And the news gets worse. There’s actually a Harvard study floating around, the findings of which demonstrate that Obama’s real goal in denying us new oil supplies is to drive gas prices up to $7 a gallon. And lest we think such a per gallon price sounds too ridiculously high to be true, just consider a recent Heritage Foundation report which confirmed that such prices were not “out of the question. …[Especially because] members of Congress are working with oil companies … to levy a carbon fee on the transportation sector.” (Such a fee would be in lieu of cap and trade legislation, and would necessarily be passed on to the consumer via higher gas prices.)

So what will such prices do to a family of four that lives off an income of $45,000 a year? It will do exactly what Obama wants it to do: force them to buy a hybrid vehicle or, better yet, an all-electric one. And it will cause many working parents to travel to the office or the shop on mass transit for the first time, while leaving others with no options better than walking to the grocers or to Wal-Mart instead of driving, as they have done in the past.

And for those middle or lower class mothers and fathers who refuse to give up their SUVs and other gasoline or diesel powered vehicles, I fear the future will find them subjected to the shame of digging under couch cushions, breaking open piggy banks, and going without their morning latte in order to buy fuel.

Either way, the ruling class will have put the plebs in their place again. And this administration will have proven far more hostile toward fossil fuel usage and the transportation budgets of middle and lower class families than it has toward almost anything else, including Muslim terrorists.

The only question that remains to be answered is whether gas will hit $4 a gallon slow enough for Obama this time?

AWR Hawkins is a conservative writer who holds a Ph.D. in military history from Texas Tech University.
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