President Obama nailed it Thursday in his speech at the University of Miami:
“You can bet that since it’s an election year, [Republicans are] already dusting off their 3-point plan for $ 2 gas — and I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling,” he said. “We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for President. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years. Well, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.”
Indeed, many besides Republicans are taking note of the recent price rise and what that might mean come November. Somewhere, the speculation goes, there is a point at which the president, and the party which he heads, will take unacceptably large hits from voters convinced that the Democrats are at fault. What that price point might be is variously put at $ 4 a gallon (a price already to be found throughout California), $ 5 or somewhere north of there.
Newt Gingrich, one of the Republicans who the president says is “licking their chops” over the prospect of higher gasoline prices by election day, is promising $ 2-a-gallon gasoline when he enters the Oval Office. His plan is to do what has become one word: drillbabydrill. To step up domestic production more than the 8 percent it has already risen over the past few years. Run the price down by boosting supply that’s supposedly hampered by “radical environmentalists” and their Democratic lackeys.
This just goes to show that the guy who thinks he’s the smartest fellow in the GOP contest, if not the universe, doesn’t understand the global economics of oil or the constraints on how much U.S. production can be had. Even if every square inch of public land from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the warming tundra of northern Alaskan is pumped dry, the flow from U.S. wells will never again be enough to appreciably budge world prices much.
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