The Corner

Democrats and Gasoline

The article to which Mark Levin links is an eye opener. At a time when the weak dollar, the oil cartel, terrorism, and surging demand in the developing world have sent oil prices soaring, Democrats are more concerned with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny:

  • Mythical Texas oil tycoons! (It helps that Bush is president.)
  • Conspiratorial price-gouging ! (Pump-operators are losing their shirts right now.)
  • “Profiteering speculators!” (Ever heard of the “short position?” Do you think that “profiteering speculators” don’t know to build one when prices get too high?)

You could easily get the impression that the Democrats’ energy policy is just that obtuse — that they must have some gall to criticize creationism when they in fact subscribe to its economic equivalent. But as I wrote last week, I don’t really think they are this ignorant. They’re providing a rhetorical distraction to the fact that they want high gas prices, probably higher ones than we have right now.

I am not making a moral judgment about this — just pointing out that high gas prices are part of the Democrats’ environmental agenda. Their proposed carbon emission caps would hit oil producers at the well, pushing oil prices higher, with the aim of decreasing consumption and carbon emissions. And it will probably work. You will notice that the current high prices are already having that effect of decreasing emissions — U.S. gasoline consumption is down this year for the first time in nearly two decades.

Meanwhile, in order to deflect and even harness consumer anger in the political arena, they can send out Chuck Schumer to put on this dog-and-pony show about the phantoms that are secretly directing the economy from behind closed doors. It’s a smokescreen. As an energy consumer, you should be a lot more concerned about what Democrats are doing in the open Senate chamber.

UPDATE: From a gas station operator:

Thanks for linking to that piece on fuel stations.  I am so darn sick and tired of the public thinking that the people who own the pumps are making “huge profits.”  When prices soar like this, competition is so fierce that we often are losing money on every gallon.  If one prices 2¢ over their nearest competitor, the gallons are lost.  It sounds stupid, but bringing in the customers is where we make money, because they usually buy something else that we do make money on.

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