David Harsanyi

Then, of course, there is all the profit-mongering we keep hearing about. The Congressional Budget Office reported that in January, federal and state fuel taxes sucked in about 48 cents per gallon for gasoline and 53 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. Government typically sees more profit per gallon of gas than the oil companies. At least the fossil fuel oligarchs -- smart enough to control the entire world market but too dumb to do it more often -- have the decency to provide a product before taking carnal advantage of us at the pumps.

Let's not forget the Environmental Protection Agency, which, as we speak, is in the process of rolling out the "the most far-reaching environmental regulatory scheme in American history," according to Time magazine. Using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases -- so, all useful energy -- the EPA is trying to initiate cap and trade by fiat. It has to because even a Democratic monopoly in Washington was unable to muster the courage to launch this kind of assault on prosperity.

Complaints about our "dependency on foreign oil" -- considering the fungibility of the commodity, where we get it from and how long it takes to increase production -- seem to be nothing more than crowd-pleasing bipartisan talking points. Surely, there could be a useful debate on the topic, if this administration cared one whit about increasing production at home. The de facto moratorium on offshore oil drilling and the regulatory burdens placed on new production prove that any "dependency" on oil, not just the Middle East variety, is the real problem.

The administration, of course, isn't at fault when oil prices spike; it just seems to make matters worse. Or better, if you happen to be an environmentalist. So why isn't it celebrating? Though the left may be wary of the political consequences, it has been pining for high fuel costs for decades. So here they are. Let's see how the economy responds.