When there’s a serious problem that hasn’t been fixed in this country, the first thing we must do is blame all the politicians. Not a bad source for a designated scapegoat. After all, that’s where many of the folks in a recent Consumer Reports survey placed the fault for the high oil prices. I’m not sure how exactly they came up with these numbers, since they have 77% for the politicians and 75% for oil companies. (If anyone can figure out these numbers, let me know. ) We do need a comprehensive energy policy. There are no quick fixes, but the American people understand that increasing domestic supply should be one of many ways we can decrease our dependence on foreign oil. I’m not convinced that the impact of offshore drilling would be reflected in the price of gas immediately, but it would increase supply while we continue to pursue alternative fuels and more efficient cars. For those who make the argument that it could take 10+ years to see the impact of offshore drilling on the oil market, I say why wait another minute to get started with it? In addition to that, do we have alternative fuels ready to replace gasoline right now? Or will that also take 10 years or more to develop? Right.
There is more to be done with energy policy. However, the right approach should always be geared toward free-market solutions, because government has never been known for its innovation or its efficiency. Most of the best inventions and innovations have come from the private sector. Oversight is fine, I guess, to make sure that the oil companies are following the rules, but nothing good can come from punishing production with a windfall profits tax. It won’t make gas cheaper — and that’s the goal, isn’t it? Democrats don’t have many solutions, just a long list of things that they won’t do. That’s great leadership right there.