President Bush used his radio address today to blame Democrats for the current energy crisis. Bush’s logic is that since Democrats won’t allow offshore drilling, they are responsible for the high price of gas. Bush wants to drill the Outer Continental Shelf, ANWR, increase oil refining capacity, and extract shale oil from federal lands.
He said that if the Democrats don’t pass his plan, then they need to explain to the American people why gas is $4 a gallon. “I know Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past. Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act,” Bush said.
Bush continued, “This is a difficult time for many American families. Rising gasoline prices and economic uncertainty can affect everything from what food parents put on the table to where they can go on vacation. With the four steps I’ve laid out, Congress now has a clear path to begin easing the strain high gas prices put on your family’s pocketbook. These proposals will take years to have their full impact, so I urge Congress to take action as soon as possible. Together, we can meet the energy challenges we face — and keep our economy the strongest, most vibrant, and most hopeful in the world.”
It must be pointed out that nothing Bush is proposing would lower the price of gas now. It would take 10 years for these actions to impact the price of oil, and the effects of this policy would only last for 3 years. As Barack Obama pointed out in Jacksonville, FL today, “The politics may have changed, but the facts haven’t… Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today, it would not lower gas prices next year and it would not lower gas prices five years from now.”
Republicans want to address the issue as a supply problem. This viewpoint is based on the completely negligent idea that the United States has enough oil to be self sufficient, but the U.S. is the number one consumer of oil in the world, yet only controls 3% of global supply. The energy crisis can only be resolved when American demand for oil declines. This is why developing sources of alternative energy is so important.
Since the Republican Party is bankrolled by the oil companies, they will never propose anything that would cut into Big Oil’s profits. What’s sad about all of this is that energy is not a Republican problem or a Democratic problem. It is an American problem, and instead of blaming each other, both parties need to come together to find a solution, but it is easier to blame someone else than it is to tell the American people that we need to change the way we consume oil. It is more convenient to be like George W. Bush and pretend like we have enough oil to solve the problem. Then again, pretending and delusions are what the presidency of George W. Bush has been all about.