Gas Prices

Michelle Malkin has a great post about Queen Nancy.  Check out this quote from Pelosi back in 2006:

With skyrocketing gas prices, it is clear that the American people can no longer afford the Republican Rubber Stamp Congress and its failure to stand up to Republican big oil and gas company cronies. Americans this week are paying $2.91 a gallon on average for regular gasoline – 33 cents higher than last month, and double the price than when President Bush first came to office.

“With record gas prices, record CEO pay packages, and record oil company profits, Speaker Hastert and the Majority Congress continue to give the American people empty rhetoric rather than join Democrats who are working to lower gas prices now.

So, Nancy, since the Democrats have controlled Congress, prices have gone up and up and up.  Huh.  You were talking about empty rhetoric….

Did you see she just came out and said there will be NO additional drilling in the U.S.?  Check out this quote from her:

“This call for drilling in areas that are protected is a hoax, it’s an absolute hoax on the part of the Republicans and this administration” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. “It’s a decoy to punt your attention away from the fact that their policies have produced $4-a-gallon gasoline.”

Nancy, again, we here on the Moratorium staff have to ask…the DEMOCRATS have controlled Congress for the past few years.  Since YOU took over the prices have gone from under $3.00 to over $4.00.  It’s YOUR policies (or lack thereof) that have resulted in higher prices. 

Folks, get used to these high prices because when Obama wins and the Democrats gain more seats, they will raise taxes, they will pass more restrictive laws and the price of gas will continue to go up.

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25 Responses to “Gas Prices”

  1. kolby Says:

    Gas prices are obviously the sort of thing that are largely outside the control of government, but I fail to see how the Democratic controlled Congress is to blame for this. Is there a specific proposal that they enacted or blocked that you believe is the culprit for the current state of affairs? I would argue that the defining feature of this Congress has been the effectiveness of the GOP opposition in all but controlling the agenda through filibusters (a record number) and legislative maneuvering (probably something you like).

    I have different thoughts than most Democrats on energy (I would really like Obama to come out in favor of nuclear power), but the calls for immediate drilling domestically are almost entirely a cheap (but probably effective) political ploy. But I’m one of those urbanist liberals who think that higher gas prices are, in the end, a good thing.

  2. Dude Says:

    Kolby, I think Roland was mainly pointing out the hypocrisy of Pelosi. Back in 2006 she was blaming Bush and the Republicans for high oil prices and then went on to say they should “join” the Democrats for lower prices.

    I have actually read many economists who state that if the ban for offshore drilling was lifted, we would see an immediate decrease in the cost of oil.

    How are high gas prices a good thing?

  3. Roland Says:

    Yes, Dude, that is what I was mainly trying to communicate. Also, Dude, I made a point (via Walter Williams) on the drilling and prices earlier this month in my blog. Check it out. You’re right.

    Kolby, I am all with you on nuclear power. 100%.

  4. kolby Says:

    Politicians blaming their opponents for negative fundamentals? Surely not.

    I think high gas prices are a good thing because that is the only way that Americans will make a series of difficult choices that changing conditions will soon present. Our current residential and transportation infrastructures are based on plentiful and affordable space and energy. This has meant massive suburban sprawl, large homes and automobiles, and a general disregard for long term sustainability. As energy prices (particularly oil) increase, things like urban development, public transportation, and alternative energy become more desirable for both consumers and investors. Big houses and cars have become part of American culture, and we won’t want to move toward a different model of development unless it becomes an overwhelming financial imperative. Even with increased in telecommuting and shortened work weeks, exurban sprawl is not a viable long term option (not to mention its cultural downsides).

    Also, I don’t have a car and am not affected by high gas prices in the direct way most are. The downside for me is more crowded cars on the DC metro in the morning, which is a personal pain in the ass but good for the world longterm.

  5. Roland Says:

    Why should we move to a different model of development? What is wrong with sprawl? If people can afford a big house/car, more power to them. I don’t mind natural changes but hate it when Govco sticks their dirty hands in and forces it.

    I grew up in sprawl and loved it. 🙂

  6. policulture Says:

    Patrick Mead has a relevant post over at his blog. It is excellent.

    Read it HERE.

  7. kolby Says:

    I don’t think I said anything about the government forcing any of these changes. My point is that high energy prices (that I don’t think are going back down and will likely continue to rise) will induce organic changes (they already have on a smaller scale). The point is also that fewer people will be able to afford the high transportation costs that come with living in far flung suburbs while working in a city center. These changes in cost make smaller dwellings in more centralized areas more attractive options.

  8. Roland Says:

    I didn’t mean to indicate you said that, I was just making the point.

    So, you are about pretty much telling people where to live then, correct? The problem with that is if your employment is in a far flung suburb or if you lose your job or your job moves or if you just want to live out there. That’s the beauty of this great county…if you want to live there, you can.

    If Govco would allow drilling, would allow nuke and coal power, the prices would go down and would go down in the immediate future.

    BTW, I hate these high prices but don’t think they are of the “killer” nature that everyone makes them out to be.

  9. kolby Says:

    I’m not telling anybody anything. These things happen on their own due to changes in cultural and market forces. Of course people can live where they choose. They moved to the suburbs in the first place largely for economic reasons (with a dash of white flight mixed in), and economic necessity can reverse that trend. Recent years have seen a swing away from expanding suburbs and toward renovating older residential areas that are closer to city centers. These trends happen for a variety of reasons, but I don’t see anything wrong with municipalities providing incentives for the type of development they deem most sustainable (both economically and environmentally).

  10. fuel additive Says:

    It is pretty ironic, it’s like all they can do is just blame blame blame. i’m getting really sick of it. “We can’t drill” “It will take years before drilling makes a difference anyway” and all the other lame excuses they come up with. The fact is if we don’t start doing something it’s just going to get worse and worse and NEVER get better. We need people in office that will actually do something.

  11. Roland Says:

    Kolby, why reverse the trend? I live in the country (for the most part) right now but everything is heading my way and I welcome it. The thing is, without the move outwards to the suburbs, there would be mass overcrowding and, due to that, you and I might never have been born. A little Terminator action there, huh? Huh?

  12. policulture Says:

    So “white flight” enters the discussion. Interesting. I know there were people who moved out of the inner city because they hated people of color. That’s unfortunate.

    But I personally know a lot of people who moved out of the city of Detroit (my hometown) in the late 50s, early 60s because of the increase in crime. It had nothing to do with the color of the thugs that began taking over the streets. It had everything to do with keeping their family safe and getting their kids into good, safe schools.

    And I don’t believe you’ll see a big move back into places like Detroit until the cities are cleaned-up and made safe, and the schools are improved.

    fuel additive — don’t count on Obama or McCain to do anything. Well, let me clarify that — McCain will do nothing. Obama will make it worse.

  13. kolby Says:

    Of course population increases result in an inevitable push outward from city cores, but in some areas it has resulted in expansion to excess. I grew up in Dallas, and loads of people face hour plus commutes each way every day (the same thing happens in my current home (DC), though there is a more viable public transportation commute option). That isn’t good for productivity, families, communities, or the environment.

    policulture, I don’t think we have much disagreement. Racism was certainly a part of the white flight phenomenon, but increases in crime are also inextricably linked to the rush to the suburbs. As for Detroit, methinks it is doomed.

  14. Roland Says:

    Funny thing with Detroit. Much like the Big Easy. Democrats have been running Detroit for decades upon decades and things just get worse and worse. Huh. You would think the people up there would wise up and try something new.

    I simply adore the suburbs. That’s how I grew up and I found it wonderful. I lived near work for about 5 years. Only about 5 minutes away and hated it. Every time I went to the store or to the movies or anything, I felt like I was at work or I would be reminded of things I had to do at work. I love living a half hour away. Now, work is work and home is home.

  15. kolby Says:

    Sustained, unchallenged power by any political entity tend to lead toward corruption and ineptitude.

    I grew up in suburbs too. I found it soulless and boring. I’m willing to pay a premium to live in an urban area that I find more fulfilling and convenient. Many people will likely be forced to pay a similar premium to live in suburbs if that is the social milieu that they prefer. Markets are simply grand.

  16. Roland Says:

    Simply living in the suburbs does not mean you automatically commute to work.

  17. Roland Says:

    How interesting that oil prices drop as Bush removes the moratorium on off shore drilling. Heck, the prices dropped again today as he spoke about it.

  18. kolby Says:

    No it doesn’t, but most people do. Theoretical maximalism is boring. You’re better than that sort of argument. You can kick this can down the road till the end of days.

    I’m also sure you’re aware than correlation does not equal causation. I doubt you’ll find many serious economists who think the long term arrow for gas prices points anywhere besides up.

  19. Roland Says:

    Actually, quite a few believe that if we start to drill for oil ourselves, prices will go down.

  20. kolby Says:

    They might (might) go down in the very short term, but global consumption is increasing (and will continue to do so) and that means higher prices long term. No one disputes that, and very few dispute the fact that and oil based economy isn’t good for anyone but Hugo Chavez, Putin’s cabal, the Saudi sheiks, and the Iranian mullahs. Using less petroleum is unquestionably something we should be working toward post haste. Increased domestic production will likely be a part of the transition process, but it isn’t an answer.

  21. Roland Says:

    I agree we should and are working towards that but it won’t come overnight. It will take years to make a good, full transition and yes, prices will go up however not as fast.

  22. angryd Says:

    kolby;

    I think I am right by stating that, due to where you live, you likely do not own real property. This is one reason why public transportation works for you.

    However, the majority of Americans who own real property do not live in cities connected by an infrastructure of public transportation. The reason there are so many cars on the roads in America is the simple fact that Europeans can’t comprehend: “In America we think 200 years is a long time. In Europe they think 200 miles is a long ways.” As you can probably tell, I’m sick to death of fools in France and England accusing us of “warmongering” over oil (ahem, how many people did Euros get killed in the 20th century verses Americans? And WHY?) when the reality is that we use more oil because we have more NEED for oil.

    Fuel impacts every sector of our economy. You can’t even buy an apple without being impacted by fuel: that apple had to get from the tree to the market for you to buy it.

    Americans have been cutting back on fuel for quite some time. Motorcycle fatalities have increased more than 400% in the Pacific Northwest– the high fuel costs are leading people to risk taking their bikes in inclement weather. You’re trading lives for fuel, and that is not a good thing.

    We do need to explore alternate energy sources. On that I agree. However we ALSO need to develop a short and mid-term strategy to reduce fuel prices. Right now our global transportation network is built on a petroleum standard. You get us a choice and we’ll take it, but right now there ISN’T one.

    Public transportation might work for you, but let’s not try to pretend that your situation is the same as all 260 million Americans who need to get to work and school every day. You CHOOSE not to own real property. You CHOOSE to live and work in an area where you can take public transportation.

    If you and the rest of the city dwellers want to rent someone else’s property for the rest of your lives, that’s your call, but those who work farms, for example, generally don’t live in cities, and they need gas to get their products to market.

    AngryD

    http://AngryD.Livejournal.com

  23. kolby Says:

    Theoretical maximalism strikes again. I never said that we are going to get completely off using oil as an energy source. What I’m saying is that we use more than we need to. There will always be a need for personal transportation in places that mass transit is not practical. However, there is no reason that regional rail service cannot work in this country. While it is not practical to take a train from New York to LA, there is no reason that there shouldn’t be a working rail network along the West Coast, in the Midwest, and throughout the South. I’m not sure what owning property has to do with any of this (plenty if city dwellers own their apartments/condos), but if you payed any attention to what I said you would notice that not once did I demand that urban transportation patterns be forced on areas unfit for their development.

  24. Roland Says:

    The problem Kolby is that in many cities where, light rail, for example, have been tried (Cleveland comes to mind) it has failed miserably. People want their own cars. Now, that is not to say that, due to high fuel costs, they may work but, in several cities, they fail.

  25. Roland Says:

    Speaking of cause and effect, here is another nice quote from Nancy in 2006:

    “We have two oilmen in the White House. The logical follow-up from that is $3-a-gallon gasoline. It is no accident. It is a cause and effect. A cause and effect.”

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