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The Oil Policy Difference

Just a couple of months ago, it was widely predicted that prices at the pump would hit five dollars by Labor Day. Now, it seems that we might actually see a drop in prices at the pump between now and the election in November.

However, don’t be fooled. If we see temporary relief, it will be just that – temporary. Relief designed to give the impression that we don’t need to increase domestic oil exploration. If the Democrats expand their control of the legislative branch and take control of the executive branch, we will see gas prices north of five dollars a gallon for a very simple reason (subscription):

Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, supports lifting a drilling ban along the Outer Continental Shelf and encouraging more offshore drilling and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Sen. Barack Obama, the all-but-certain Democratic nominee, has opposed lifting the current offshore drilling bans.

“There is no way for at least a generation that we can get by without more and more oil,” Domenici said. “If we could just use our own, we could save American dollars from flowing out of America.”

Meanwhile, President Bush on Wednesday renewed his request that Congress lift its moratorium on coastal oil and gas drilling.

“The American people are rightly frustrated by the failure of the Democratic leaders in Congress to enact commonsense solutions,” Bush said. “All the Democratic leaders have to do is to allow a vote. They should not leave Washington without doing so.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, relented on the offshore drilling issue earlier this week, offering Republicans a chance to offer four amendments to the speculation bill, including one that would bring the drilling proposal to a Senate vote.

Look again at the bolded sections from Michael Coleman’s article. Even a goof like “Give ’em Hell Harry” recognizes the fact that domestic drilling deserves to be on the table. Yet, the Democrats presumptive nominee for President, Senator Barack Obama, remains stubbornly opposed to any common sense solution to ultimately returning market control of gas prices to Americans.

Instead, Senator Obama is perfectly happy to leave us hostage to the dictates of a cartel:

OPEC has rejected US pleas for raising production and the president of the cartel says he expects oil to stay at current price levels through the end of this year. That stands against a market where oil demand has gone up 1.5 million barrels a day for the last ten years.

Now who gets hurt the most when Democrats in the U.S. government insist on blocking domestic oil production? The working poor and middle class families is who:

If gasoline prices move from their current average price of $3.20 to $5, the cost of fuel for a family that spends $50 a week for gas would move up over $1,000 a year. That would wipe out any tax rebate payments from the Federal government and drive the economy deeper into its currently slowdown. It would also further fracture already delicate P&Ls; and balance sheet at large auto makers and airlines. Retailers would get less traffic. Very few industries would be spared some effect.

“… wipe out any tax rebate payments from the Federal government and drive the economy deeper into its currently slowdown.” That’s also an important fact to keep in mind for Governor Richardson’s upcoming taxpayers funded Special Session.

We’re an oil producing state, yet the Governor is doing everything in his power to discourage oil production. He did it when he passed unnecessary pit rules, and he’ll do it again in the upcoming regular session by trying to bring the cap and trade scam to New Mexico.

Of course, in characteristic Richardson fashion, he is hoping to dupe New Mexicans into believing that by giving us a rebate, he is alleviating our pain. However, the plain and simple truth is that, like all other Richardson fiscal decisions to date, he is making it more expensive for most New Mexicans to live.