Big oil guzzlers, the anti-oil left, and big oil
So now we have the presidential candidates running around telling voters that they will help solve the problem of high gas prices. Well, if you believe that, you’ll believe that Hugo Chavez drives a Yugo. It’s just bull.
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are calling for “investigations” into “price gouging” by American oil companies. Good. There’s plenty of price manipulation going on and, under Presidents Bush and Clinton, little federal oversight. If a big oil company wants to tighten supply, for example, it’s a snap. Just slow down the refinery process by ordering extra “maintenance” or something.
But who is going to investigate Sens. Obama and Clinton on their opposition to oil drilling? The Democratic Party has consistently opposed new drilling and nuclear energy, as well. Even the dedicated liberal governments in France and Sweden bought into nuclear. But not the American left, no way.
On the Republican side, Mr. Bush has done absolutely nothing about rising gas prices, which is part of the reason his approval rating is approaching 20 percent. He blames the Democrats. Fine. But the president should be telling all Americans to cut back their gas consumption by 15 percent. He should be urging us to use less gas. That would at least cut into big oil’s record profit margins.
Sen. John McCain proposes a gas tax “holiday” this summer. True, that would save the folks a few bucks, but it would also add to the massive spending deficit. The government better start balancing the budget soon, before Haagen-Dazs becomes more valuable than the U.S. currency.
The sad truth is that both political parties have sold out the folks. For decades, economists knew China and India were industrializing, and that those countries would demand much greater amounts of oil. Everybody knew that OPEC would slow down production and gouge the world if it could, and of course, now it can.
But if Americans would get angry and begin punishing the oil bandits, prices would drop. However, we are often a selfish people. We want those gas-guzzling Hummers and SUVs, and we’re paying a big price for that, above and beyond the sticker.
If I were president, I’d be on every program, leading the charge to buy less gas, urging folks to conserve energy in creative ways. I’d create peer pressure against the guzzle crowd. I’d name the names of greedy oil company CEOs making tens of millions of dollars while working folks suffer.
We need leadership on this energy business or it is going to cripple our economy. Our energy incompetence has already em- powered our enemies.
So let’s get angry out there. We the people can do this. Big oil is not looking out for us. Let’s stop rewarding it.
Bill O’Reilly is a nationally syndicated columnist.