If Congressional Republicans allow Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats to skirt responsibility for rising gas prices, they will once again earn the time-honored mantle of “The Stupid Party.” Two years ago this week, Nancy Pelosi – as part of a concerted campaign of opportunistic mendacity – said she and her party had a “commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices.” Their "plan" conveniently came to fruition after Democrats voted against a comprehensive energy plan that would increase fuel production and open up untapped oil reserves.
Democrats won control of Congress partly because of such promises. The day she took over as speaker, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.33. Today, it’s $3.60. This $1.27 “Pelosi Premium” is the single most pernicious factor behind the struggling economy in general and middle class anxiety. Recent polls demonstrate rising gas prices are the most important economic issue facing Americans today. And here’s the thing: it’s all their fault.
The spiraling cost of energy in the United States today is not one of those things that is nobody’s fault, nor is it a matter of shared responsibility. The fault is absolutely, completely at the doorstep of the Democrat Party. Their Kool-Aid-cult attachment to environmental extremism, their ideological hostility to free markets and free trade, their barking threats of tax hikes on American energy production, their weak and indecisive foreign policy toward the Middle East, and their limousine-liberal NIMBY hypocrisy are not present on both sides of the aisle.
To date, the only thing Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats have tried to do on energy is raise taxes. The tax hike they passed in the House not only targets American energy companies, it specifically exempts foreign oil companies. So, foreign energy companies, many of them subsidized by regimes hostile to the United States, would enjoy a reverse subsidy benefit from the Democrat Congress. Is that really their “commonsense plan”?
Nobody knows. All we know, for sure, is what the plan is not. The Democrats’ plan to lower gas prices cannot include opening up the billions of gallons of oil underneath the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska because… well, because the Democrats apparently care more about caribou, fish, and even the views from their vacation homes than energy independence. There is enough accessible oil in the United States to fuel 60 million cars for 60 years, and the Democrats will not allow it to be drilled.
This week, truckers rallied in Washington, D.C. to protest the failure of Congress to do anything about gas prices. They were mad; they should be. They should be furious at the arrogant refusal of Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats to lift a finger to lower gas prices. They won’t allow increased production, they won’t allow the creation of new nuclear power plants, they refuse to reform our ethanol subsidy programs, which are not only driving up the cost and driving down the efficiency of our gasoline, but are now helping to starve the third world.
If we wanted to, we could lower the price of fuel in a month – by opening up our oil reserves to exploration, by encouraging the development of next-generation nuclear power plants, and by removing government mandated manipulation of the energy market. But Democrats oppose all of these measures for reasons ranging from partisan cynicism to ideological fanaticism. But they maintain they have a “commonsense plan.” Well, what is it?
Voters have a right to know what exactly Mrs. Pelosi’s “commonsense plan” entails. Her number is 202-225-0100. Call your Congressman and Senator, ask the Democrats what their plan is to reduce the price of gasoline. If they don’t give you a straight answer, if they don’t renounce tax hikes, if they don’t support increased domestic production, and if they feed you some nonsense about “biofuels,” you’ll know all you’ll need to.
Energy prices are bankrupting the middle class, and the Democrats in Congress are doing nothing about it. The real question now is: will conservatives do something about that?