Larry Elder

Five dollars per gallon of gas by 2012! A former president of Shell Oil considers this likely. The average price on Christmas Day for a gallon of regular gas reached $3.28 in Los Angeles County, the highest price since October 2008. In one month, the price rose 13 cents, up 35 cents year to year.

Where are the calls to sic Obama's Justice Department on Big Oil to hold the oil companies accountable for "market manipulation"? Why aren't we hunting down the amoral "oil speculators" responsible for repealing the law of supply-and-demand in order to line their pockets?

During President George W. Bush's administration, we constantly heard demands to hold the President accountable for "Big Oil's price gouging." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., just two years ago, knew exactly whom to blame for "skyrocketing" oil prices: "The price of oil is at the doorstep; $4-plus per gallon for oil is attributed to two oilmen in the White House and their protectors in the United States Senate."

In 2007, when the average national price ranged from $2.17 to $3.22, then-Sen. Barack Obama demanded that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Big Oil for "price manipulation." In 2008, presidential candidate Obama urged the Justice Department "to open an investigation into whether energy traders have been engaged in illegal activities that have helped drive up the price of oil and food."

Obama also called for "a windfall profits penalty on oil selling at or over $80 per barrel." As of Christmas 2010, a barrel of oil sold at slightly above $90. What happened to the windfall profits tax?

Yes, back then the average price per gallon was four bucks. But blaming "oilman" Bush for high prices began when the average price was well below today's $3.05 national average.

The average price was $1.72 on March 5, 2003, when CBS News posted a story online with this headline: "Dems Blame Bush For High Oil Prices." It referred to an investigative report by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Levin blamed Bush's post-9/11 decision to increase the amount of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 40 million barrels in 2002 -- bringing the total to 600 million. Levin said, "We're confident this had a significant impact on the price of oil in 2002." Never mind that the Bush administration called the amount of oil diverted too small to matter.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.