These two paragraphs from today’s Washington Post tell us everything we need to know about the Democrats’ “energy policy” ideas:
Oil analysts concur that the primary causes of the escalating prices cannot be mitigated by federal intervention. They include the rapidly rising demand for oil in China and India, instability in oil-rich Nigeria, financial speculation about a possible military confrontation with Iran, and U.S. refining capacity’s failure to keep up with demand. Refineries had to work overtime last year to make up for the oil shortage that Hurricane Katrina wrought, and only now have they been able to undertake necessary maintenance.
Still, Democrats are hammering Bush and his Republican colleagues for failing to come up with a strategy that would cut prices soon. They hope to harness voter anger over the trend and, by Election Day, turn it against the Republicans who control Congress.
In other words, once again the Democrats have no ideas, other than the same old one – to hammer away with empty slogans and demagogue an issue purely for partisan point-scoring.
And newsflash for the Republicans, who aren’t doing much better on the issue – the free market doesn’t only apply when gasoline is cheap. There is no inherent Constitutional right to gas at two bucks a gallon. It is not the job of the government to set commodity prices in a free society.
It’s fine to do an investigation into possible anti-trust violations if there’s evidence that such violations may have occured. But so far we haven’t seen any evidence to that effect presented. We’ve only heard people complaining that gas prices are too high and that the feds should step in and “fix it.”
We hate paying more for gas as much as the next guy, but we aren’t about to abandon the free market and embrace socialism over it.
The Republicans should be talking less about increased regulation and higher taxes, and more about increasing domestic oil production. Again, bring back the ANWR bill.