These days there is a pretty good way to gauge how someone's day is going. Ask if they've filled up their gas tank recently. If so, they're likely to be in a foul mood. And rightly so.
In recent months, we have experienced almost surreal increases in prices at the pump. Day after day, new records are set. In fact, since Democrats took control of Congress, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded has shot up $1.74. Every day, we find ourselves asking: “Will this ever end?”
The answer is yes, when the politics stops and we start doing something about it.
As much as House Democrat leadership may wish it to be, exasperation is not an energy policy. Regrettably for American consumers, their energy plan has been focused on what we will not do. No exploration of American energy; no increase in refineries; no incentives to create new sources of fuel. It seems all this majority is willing to do is hike up taxes on American oil producers – not an economically defensible way of lowering prices at the pump.
While it may be politically expedient to lay the blame for rising gas prices on oil companies, we owe it to American consumers to be honest about how we got here. Some of the increase in price can be attributed to the weakening dollar. Speculation may play a hand, and we lack adequate refining capacity. But these record prices are principally the result of supply and demand, and we must treat it as such.
While global supply of oil has remained relatively stagnant, growth in the demand of energy from emerging nations like China and India has been extraordinary. With these countries showing no sign of slowing down, we must get to work to increase the American supply of energy to meet our needs.
In the past few weeks, House Republicans have laid out a true energy action plan. Rather than accepting the status quo, this is a real executable plan to give meaningful relief to American families.
First, we must increase production and open up access to explore for American-made energy. For too long our own precious resources have been off limits, and competing nations are gaining from our neglect.
Right now, China, Venezuela, and others are working with Cuba to extract oil near our waters. Yet American companies are not able to extract our own resources to provide for American consumers. This is outrageous. How can we honestly demand OPEC nations pump more oil when we will not even utilize our own resources?