The Corner

It’s Hard Out Here For A Pump

The administration whose Energy Secretary wants Euro-level gas prices tries feeling your pain:

At a fundraiser in Southern California last week, where pump prices are the highest in the country, Obama acknowledged the political peril of high gas prices. He said, “My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis, and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people.”

He tried to show that he feels motorists’ pain. “I admit, Secret Service doesn’t let me fill up the pump anymore,” he said. “But it hasn’t been that long since I did.”

True. He had to pump his own gas when he commuted from the manicured lawns of Hyde Park with its private police force to whichever decrepit part of town two miles away he was “community-organizing” in. The Post’s reporters, Steven Mufson and Jon Cohen, neatly illustrate the “stubborn nature” of J-school reporting on this issue and “the difficulty of weaning” the media “off its dependence” on lazy tropes:

The poll also shows the stubborn nature of gasoline consumption and the difficulty of weaning the country off its dependence on imported oil.

“The country” is “dependent” on oil. But the “imported” bit is purely a matter of choice: A decadent elite has decided largely for aesthetic reasons that oil extraction is something foreigners do in distant lands. Hence, the pathetic spectacle of President Obama going to Brazil to praise the Brazilians for serious deepwater extraction that would get him booed off stage by the Sierra Club types if he advocated it here. If it destroys the planet doing it in U.S. waters, doesn’t it also destroy the planet transferring the operation to Brazilian waters? Meanwhile:

Although gasoline prices are just a quarter of a dollar short of their all-time record of $4.11 for a gallon of regular set in July 2008, the Energy Information Administration forecast this month that gas consumption would average about 9.3 million barrels a day over the peak summer driving season, a 0.5 percent increase over last summer.

“Population growth and a recovering economy contribute to gasoline consumption growth,” the EIA said, adding that high gas prices and better fuel efficiency standards would dampen demand.

Or maybe economic collapse and Balkan-style civil war will “dampen demand” first.

No participant in this report from the establishment newspaper of the superpower’s capital city — the president, his “EIA,” and certainly not the reporters – seems to have a clue that in vast swathes of the country millions of people commute long distances for relatively low-paying jobs whose economic viability is severely impacted by the difference between gas at a dollar-eighty (the dawn of the Hopeychangey era) and five bucks per gallon (this summer). Maybe they could all move to Washington and get jobs as “EIA” analysts.

But don’t worry, we have a president who claims to know how “to fill up the pump.” With wet cement?

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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