Election Year Concern Over Gasoline Prices

In the president’s ongoing attempt to make the America people believe he’s truly concerned about gasoline prices President Obama challenged Congress to enact legislation to intensify federal regulation of oil markets. The speech was another version of the president’s attempt to realign the blame for high gasoline prices at those involved in the production, refining and sale of crude oil products.

Obama gasoline prices

In the speech the president pressed Congress to dramatically increase penalties for market manipulation and grant further power to regulators to demand that energy traders put more funds up to support commodity trading transactions.

“Congress should do all of this right away,” the president said Tuesday during a White House speech in the Rose Garden.

The president’s plan does nothing to increase domestic energy production, and, in fact, would likely cause the price of gasoline and other energy sources to rise. Should energy companies be required to increase their investment in trading oil that might never be delivered then the end products, such as gasoline, would increase in price. Does the president really believe that if oil companies are required to increase the dollars put at risk that those costs won’t be passed on to consumers?

Obama said the plan would put “more cops on the street” to catch speculators who attempt to manipulate markets for their own profit. Never to let a crisis pass without taking political advantage, the president reprimanded the Congress for voting against ending tax breaks to U.S. oil companies and said that passing his proposal would help members redeem themselves.

Seriously, Mr. President, do you think that the members of Congress that shot down your plan believe they need to be redeemed? Are you that disconnected from reality? Perhaps your advisors aren’t cluing you into the reasons behind the Congress’s actions?

Once again the president acknowledged that his plan “will not bring down gasoline prices overnight.”  When would they bring down the price of gasoline Mr. President?  How about never?

Let’s be honest folks. The president has no desire to bring down gasoline prices…period. He made it abundantly clear in an interview before he was elected that under his energy plan that electricity rates would necessarily soar; that wasn’t just based on coal, but all forms of carbon-based energy. The president’s philosophy on non-renewable energy sources is abundantly clear: drive them up. Want people to drive a Chevy Volt? Make gasoline so expensive that even the $45,000 Volt seems plausible. Of course under the president’s policies those recharges are going to be mighty expensive.

When you pry open the lid on the latest rehash of the president’s plan to starve the nation of gasoline you can see it’s just one more attempt to draw campaign distinctions with Republicans and has nothing to do with reducing gasoline prices.

Another Gasoline Task Force, Another $52 Million Taxpayer Dollars Squandered

At Mr. Obama’s side was Attorney General Eric Holder, asking for another $52 million to hire more regulators to enforce the president’s plan to drive energy producers to foreign soil. Probably the least credible member of the president’s team, Holder, doesn’t enforce the laws currently on the books, so why not pony up another $52 million, shear pocket change in the Justice Department’s budget, to selectively choose winners and losers; these two men have one particular group they’d like to make losers and that’s the gasoline producers.

Obama’s energy policies have centered on only one “truth” and that’s green energy at any cost.

Now the president is bringing back the Occupy Wall Street vision to link the Republicans with Wall Street’s role in the oil price chain. However, if the president acknowledges that his plan won’t have any short-term effect on the price of gasoline, what’s the point? The answer is quite simple: if there’s political benefit to be had, if there’s a way to shift responsibility to someone else, it’s worth another shot.

In Obama’s world of evil oil, commodity traders are responsible for the high cost of gasoline. Truthfully, the president doesn’t really believe that market manipulation is responsible for rising gas prices, but as long as he can get the people to believe he’s not the one responsible and maybe even sell the voters on Republican’s siding with the traders, it fits the web he’s eager to weave this fall.

Just last year, as gasoline prices rose, Obama and Holder created a task force to look into fraud in the energy markets. The price of gasoline at that time was 50 cents a gallon lower than they currently are; so much for taxpayer dollars being spent to root out fraud. Perhaps the president’s latest plan can add another 50 cents per gallon to the price at the pump.

The president likes to crow about domestic oil production being at an all time high. He’s correct, but Obama had absolutely nothing to do with this fact. All new production on federal land has come from leases granted by the Bush Administration. Mr. Obama has reduced new leases and slowed down the granting of new leases by nearly two-thirds during his administration. The number of oil leases on federal land is now at a 30 year low. The number of producing wells on private land is at an all-time high; a fact which is certainly a thorn in Mr. Obama’s side. The federal government has no influence on production on private land and newly producing wells in Texas and North Dakota have been able to more than make up for what Mr. Obama has taken off the table. If the president wanted to be honest—which would be a novel approach—he’d admit that U.S. oil production is at an all time high despite his attempts to starve the nation of gasoline.

Mr. Obama likes to use the phrase, “an all of the above strategy,” which is just blatantly dishonest. The president’s rhetoric is purely political; his actions speak far louder than his words and when it comes to energy if it isn’t green it’s going to die a slow and painful death; guess who’s going to pay for the nation’s energy health care? You guess it: you.  How many jobs is this latest political buffoonery going to cost us?