Rising gas prices, deafening silence

I just tripped over this Heritage Foundation post put up a few days ago and thought it might be worthy of our attention:

“What do you say to people who are losing patience with gas prices at $3 a gallon? And how much of a political price do you think you’re paying for that, right now?” This was a question asked of the president at a press conference in August…of 2006. The president was George W. Bush. In fact, it was a question that was asked in one way or another regularly during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency, regardless of where energy prices stood at that moment.

In May 2004, The New York Times reported that congressional Democrats “were stepping up pressure on the Bush Administration to ease gasoline prices,” when prices were still under $2/gallon. In April 2005, at another press conference, a journalist stated: “Mr. President a majority of Americans disapprove of your handling of social security, gas prices…” In 2006, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) exclaimed: “Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled…They are too cozy with the oil industry” after she drove one less-than-energy-efficient block to a press conference at a local Exxon station.

In 2008, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “blasted” the president for rising gas prices on his (and her) watch. In July 2008, ABC News asked the president what was his “short term advice for Americans about gas prices?” repeating a nearly identical question asked at a February 2008 press conference. In April 2008, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said gas prices were “the number one issue facing America today.”

You get the point. Yet, at the end of President Bush’s presidency, gas prices were 9% lower than when he took office (adjusted for inflation). So where have these outspoken critics been since Bush left office?

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated, gas prices have been on the steady rise, as have home energy prices. During his tenure, he presided over arguably the worst federal response to an oil spill in our nation’s history, and has pressed legislation on Capitol Hill that would, in his own words, cause electricity prices to “skyrocket.” Yet there has been almost nothing said by the media as consumers face $3/gallon gasoline at the pump in December for the first time in U.S. history and see their home heating bills soar in the winter months.

Now this week, analysts including former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, say Americans could be paying $5/gallon of gasoline by 2012. Investment banks are predicting a return to $100/barrel oil, and OPEC is refusing to raise production. All of this news would be less frightening if the White House were focusing on potential ways to lower energy prices. Instead, President Obama is admittedly fixated with raising them.

There’s tons more including details on what Obama’s doing to the oil drilling industry but let’s go to the Wall Street Journal for fresher news on that subject:

More than two months after the Obama administration lifted its ban on drilling in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well there. Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012.

The administration says it is simply trying to enforce new safety rules adopted in the wake of the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and set off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Environmental groups say the administration is right to take its time because the Gulf disaster exposed the risks of offshore drilling.

But the delay is hurting big oil companies such as Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which have billions of dollars in investments tied up in Gulf projects that are on hold and are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a day for rigs that aren’t allowed to drill. Smaller operators such as ATP Oil & Gas Corp., which have less flexibility to focus on projects in other regions, have been even harder hit.

The impact of the delays goes beyond the oil industry. The Gulf coast economy has been hit hard by the slowdown in drilling activity, especially because the oil spill also hurt the region’s fishing and tourism industries. The Obama administration in September estimated that 8,000 to 12,000 workers could lose their jobs temporarily as a result of the moratorium; some independent estimates have been much higher.

The slowdown also has long-term implications for U.S. oil production. The Energy Information Administration, the research arm of the Department of Energy, last month predicted that domestic offshore oil production will fall 13% this year from 2010 due to the moratorium and the slow return to drilling; a year ago, the agency predicted offshore production would rise 6% in 2011. The difference: a loss of about 220,000 barrels of oil a day.

In other words, gas prices will be staying higher into the foreseeable future and Obama’s policies are the cause.

And yet nothing from the media on it, nothing from those same voices that were beating Bush all to hell when he was in office.  It’s outrageous.  It’s maddening.  And frankly, I think it’s deliberate.

This guy wanted to fundamentally transform America and by God that’s exactly what he’s doing.

2012 cannot get here soon enough.

Obama's gall
I Like The Cut Of This Man's Jib