David Strom

For most of us, life is pretty simple. If there isn't enough of something and prices skyrocket, the last thing we would think of is limiting the supplies even more and raising prices by slapping even higher taxes on it.

Obviously, if you think this way, you aren't a politician.

Politicians look at the current oil price crunch as an opportunity—but not to increase Domestic exploration, promote free-market investment in alternative fuels and research, or let the market work as it should.

No, this is of course an opportunity to raise taxes on oil companies and oil refiners-who will have to pass these costs on to you in higher prices. Not only will this raise prices even higher, but it will ensure our dependence upon foreign oil by limiting domestic oil exploration in the United States.

Price too high already? Congress and many State Legislators want to increases prices even more.

Most people don't know this, but the United States has huge oil reserves that are off-limits to oil exploration and production. Politicians may blather all they want about energy independence, but no amount of Ethanol or "biofuels" will come close to meeting Americans' energy needs in the foreseeable future. Even if we required all fuel in the United States to be 10% Ethanol- an almost impossible goal to meet while keeping our food supply (and the world's) cheap and abundant,--90% of the fuel we would consume would still be fossil fuels. And that is just for cars!

America has become and is dependent so heavily on foreign sources of energy because politicians and radical environmentalists have stopped every serious attempt to produce more energy in America. As supplies get tighter and out of our control, prices skyrocket. And no wind farm alone will reverse this trend anytime soon.

We can't build nuclear power plants to supply electricity, so natural gas prices go through the roof as more of it gets used to produce electricity. We can't drill for oil in Alaska, or off the coasts, or just about anywhere these days (unless we started decades ago), so we increasingly turn to foreign sources to supply our needs.

And who are these "trading partners" we depend upon? All those fine friends we have in the Middle East such as Iran, our good partner Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and of course the Saudi's who are straddling the fence in the war on terror to keep their creaky regime alive.

So what are liberals proposing? Limiting oil exploration here in the United States, and slapping huge tax increases on oil companies. Honestly, that is the energy policy they propose.

David Strom

David Strom is the President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. He hosts a weekly radio show on AM-1280 "The Patriot" in Minneapolis-St. Paul, available on podcast at Townhall.com.

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