The decision by President Bush to revoke an old Executive Order prohibiting offshore drilling for oil and natural gas on the outer continental shelf was a good move, and helped contribute to the drop in oil prices that followed over the next two days.
Demand is down for oil, and any sustained drive to open up new sources of production --even those sources that will take years to tap-- impacts the futures market by increasing the probability of greater-than-expected oil supplies in the out years.
The Obama-Pelosi-Reid Don't Drill Democrats aren't budging in their opposition to seeking new oil supplies, as the electoral benefits they envision from high gas prices far outweigh their concern over the damage done to individual Americans and the U.S. economy from the oil shock. They'd rather win the presidency and expand their majorities in the House and the Senate than bring price relief to average Americans and shore up a shaky manufacturing sector buffeted by skyrocketing energy costs.
Democrats of course say in unison "We can't drill our way out of this," but in fact we can. More oil production means lower gas prices --it is that simple.
Democrats say it will take too long, but markets react to short and medium term developments, and a firm commitment to new supplies would immediately impact those markets.
Democrats try and throw dirt in our collective eyes, using the most inane talking point of the year about unused leases --as though Americans don't understand that not all leased land holds oil and that oil companies don't sit on proven reserves that they lose control of over time.
The recognition has broken through and is spreading that a vote for any democrat is a vote for soaring gas prices and a shrinking economy. Add in Obama's feverish tax hike plans, and the recipe for an economic disaster is on the table to go along with Obama's incredibly risky plans to retreat from Iraq and sit down with Ahmadinejad and Chavez for "no-preconditions" talks.
But President Bush's action is just a start. The focus has to be maintained, and the Administration must act as though it really means what it says it believes.
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