Katie Kieffer

I’m picking out bananas at the grocery store when a young woman slides up beside me and starts adding fruit to her cart while she carries on a loud cell phone conversation with a girlfriend:

"Jess, I think I'll stay over at your place on Wednesday night, because, with gas prices so high, I just can’t justify my commute into work. I might stay over on Thursday too, but I'll let you know." Her dry tone made it sound like she was making a dental appointment, not planning a girls’ night with pjs and cocktails. As she jaunted off toward the broccoli, I thought, "Wow, gas prices really are dominating our lives if adults are planning weekly sleepovers to avoid driving."

So, what can we do to lower gas prices? Lately, liberals have been explaining away high gas prices with two fables. If Michael Moore were a fairy godmother, these are the tales he would tell:

Fable #1: Consumer demand for oil has decreased

Liberals love to say that Americans are losing their desire for an oil-driven lifestyle because they are using less oil. However, U.S. demand is artificially trending downward due to the weak U.S. economy.

Oil consumption began decreasing in 2007 after the financial crisis hit and is projected to continue falling as our economy flounders. On April 5, 2011, AAA’s annual "Your Driving Costs” study revealed that the annual cost of driving and owning a car in the U.S. jumped 3.4 percent. The annual cost of driving and owning a car or SUV is now $8,776 or $11,239 respectively per year. No wonder Americans are driving less.

Producing more windmills and solar panels will not help Americans afford to go out to eat, buy new clothes, go on vacation or commute to work. The President purports to be taking steps to increase oil production. However, are these short-term moves to gear up for his re-election campaign?

Obama's Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, told The Wall Street Journal: "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Meanwhile, his Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, is pushing a federal tax credit of $7,500 for anyone who purchases an electric car "for as long as it takes to really motivate people to do this."


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is a columnist and political commentator. She runs KatieKieffer.com. Kieffer is the author of the forthcoming book "LET ME BE CLEAR."