Evoking an almost “Obamian” level of demagoguery, John Boehner published a blog today called “House GOP Acts to Address Rising Gas Prices Putting the Squeeze on American Families.”
Great. Their solution?
Yesterday, the House approved – on a bipartisan basis – legislation “to expand offshore energy production, open less than three percent of ANWR for oil and natural gas production, encourage the development of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline,” according to the House Natural Resources Committee. House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) notes that “this is now the third time the House has acted to force action on the Keystone XL pipeline” that “will bring secure energy to America, support the creation of thousands of jobs, and help bring down prices at the pump.” President Obama rejected the Keystone pipeline last month – over the objection of governors, labor unions and even fellow Democrats – despite the fact that gas prices have nearly doubled on his watch.
There’s something mildly comforting in GOP leadership being as clueless as Democrats. It shows we’re not that different, ya know? A nation of idiots. It’s something that should bring us all together.
I’ll repost a graph from yesterday to illustrate the central problem with Boehner’s “analysis.” Higher prices are NOT the result of limited supply.
In November 2011, we exported 18.7 million barrels of gasoline. EXPORTED. In November 2008, that number was 3.9 million barrels. In three years, we increased gasoline exports by 379%. Why? (Hint: not because we have a gasoline shortage.)
These are the effects of inflation, folks. Gas costs more dollars because there are more dollars. You’ll see inflation first in commodities (especially a dollar-denominated one like oil), but it will eventually be in everything. The GOP “solution” is to increase production…BUT…if they want to pay for that with government debt, it will simply cause more inflation. As usual, there is no Democrat solution. I expect they will denounce the oil companies and their nominally “record” profits. Throw some red meat at the lobotomized Occupy Wall Street crowd. I also expect some kind of export restriction on gasoline. Which, of course, will cause a host of additional problems.
But, again, it’s nice to know left and right have so much in common.