The Corner

Oil, Oil, and Not a Drop . . .

I filled up at three places in the last two weeks in California — Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Santa Maria. The price per gallon of regular gas was $4.25, $4.10, and $4.06, and I had to wait in line for the chance to buy it. Gasoline at the pump has risen 67 percent since inauguration day 2009, although it has just been announced that the United States has the largest reserves of recoverable fossil fuels in the world (gas, oil, coal, etc.).

This is a crisis in the making, and at some point the proverbial people are going to put it all together — past statements from President Obama and Secretary of Energy Chu on the desirability of soaring gasoline and electricity prices; the entire crony-capitalism nexus between green subsidies/regulations and corporations favored by the administration; and over two years of tough hands-off policies from known sources of fuel in Alaska, the West, and offshore fields — and then make the logical conclusions.

And we have not yet arrived at either the peak summer driving season, the high-water mark of Middle East unrest, or a real economic recovery that might see greater global use of gas and oil. In theory, $5 or $6 a gallon gas is easily imaginable and might come sooner than we think.

We are going to have to be reassured by the administration that high gasoline and electricity prices are not seen any longer as positive incentives for a future of heavily subsidized wind and solar power, carbon reduction in lieu of stalled cap-and-trade, and high-speed rail. Talking about inflating our tires, tuning up our cars, and not being able to drill our way of the crisis simply is not going to convince the public that anyone in this administration knows or cares about skyrocketing energy prices or their role in a Carter-like inflation in the making.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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