Emmett Tyrrell

The politicians may think the answer is to drag businessmen into investigations, but that is not going to produce oil. It may produce votes for the politicians from the electorate's economically illiterate but not much else. What is needed is more oil or at least a steady contribution to Boone Pickens' 85 million barrels. That means opening up areas where we know oil exists, for instance, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It means encouraging the creation of more refineries. We have not built a new refinery in the United States in 30 years. It means encouraging alternative energy sources, the best being nuclear.

Unfortunately these three recourses have all been thwarted by environmentalists, most of whom are Democrats save for the occasional melancholic socialist. One wonders why the Republicans have not made energy growth their response to the high energy prices that are troubling the electorate. Instead of haranguing the oil companies, one would have expected the Republican leadership and the president to unite in blaming the Democratic environmentalists while calling for wider oil exploration, more refineries and the development of a real alternative to fossil fuels, namely nuclear. Instead the Republicans have continued to forsake their principles. Yet what do they expect to get for this abandonment? Owing to their excessive spending there already is fear that the Republican vote will stay at home this autumn. Now with the Republicans adopting the economic illiteracy of the Democrats there is even more pressure for the Republicans to stay home.

I do know how the president could lower oil prices immediately. Suspend all federal taxes on oil through the summer driving period. That would put a smile on the electorate's face -- and it is not nearly as irresponsible as denigrating markets.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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