It's the Oil, Stupid

Hugh Hewitt
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Posted: Jul 11, 2008 11:30 AM
It's the Oil, Stupid

The economic mess the country confronts can be laid at the feet of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The Don’t Drill Democrats are forcing deindustrialization through depression brought about by soaring energy costs. This is a man-made meltdown, and make no mistake: The Democrats could halt and reverse the skyrocketing cost of oil, but they are choosing not to.

The impact of the massive oil shock brought about by the rise of oil to more than $140 a barrel has just begun to be felt. The airline industry has gotten organized to alert everyone it can that it cannot continue to stagger along at this price. Eight airlines are completely gone that flew a year ago, and many others are on the brink. Layoffs and new charges to battle soaring costs are hardly worth noting they arrive so frequently.

Tremors continue to course through Wall Street as investors shunned mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and yesterday worried Congressmen throw questions at the Fed Chairman and the secretary of the Treasury: How bad can it get?

The answer is very bad indeed. We may be headed for another big bailout of a financial institution, a crisis that could have been avoided had the Congress acted first on energy. The hit on every individual and business at the pump has squeezed the liquidity out of the market, and scared the consumer into a caution not seen in decades. Barack Obama is standing off stage way-left with a plan to tax everything that moves and spend it on transfer payments, and the markets know that means postponing growth until the kids have had their shot at reenacting Jimmy Carter’s triple play of sky high interest rates, double digit inflation and unemployment above 7%.

This is not necessary and could yet be avoided. If the Congress embraces production –sends a strong signal that we are opening the outer continental shelf and incentivizes rapid production by tying the term of the lease to the shortness of time necessary to get the new oil flowing from the gulf and far off the west and east coasts. If an oil company gets an extra lease or term of years for every year under five it takes them to get a new platform up and working in the U.S. waters, watch the companies scramble to increase supply.

We also need to supercharge the construction of the infrastructure for the alternatives as well as refinery construction for old fashioned crude. Note that Congress passed a law that waived environmental laws to get the border fence under way. The same authity exists for any other undertaking that brings energy relief. “Notwithstanding any other law” is a powerful bit of law, but the Don’t Drill Democrats won’t use it.

The environmental lobby owns Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and Barack Obama –the brave new leader—doesn’t dare take it or them on. That lobby is applauding the deindustrialization underway, and their attitude is that a depression wouldn’t be such a bad thing as a lesson in learning how to live within our environmental means. Their jobs aren’t on the line, after all, and their disdain for the impacted industries is complete.

What they and the Triple D Democrats hasn’t counted on, though, was America making the connection between the deteriorating economy and their anti-energy agenda.

Energy is freedom. Energy is prosperity. Every Democrat on the fall ballot is part of the anti-energy party which is wrecking havoc on the economy and every family’s budget. A vote for any Democrat is a vote for shortages, rising gas prices, rising unemployment, and falling production. A vote for any democrat is a vote for failing airlines and collapsing financial institutions and for the shuttering of car plants and large manufacturing.

A growing, vibrant economy needs energy. The Democrats are anti-energy.

It is that simple.