Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Oil Giveaway Backlash?

Hi Gang,

Here are some poll numbers from (see link to the right) regarding the high gas prices. Some highlights are:
64% of respondents say they are driving less.
61% of respondents think prices will increase in the near future.
61% of respondents say the gas prices are imposing financial hardship on their households.
49% of respondents think our top priority should be to encourage conservation compared to 37% who favor more production.
50% think that Bush wants more production compared to 36% who think he will encourage conservation.
79% of respondents think that oil companies are to blame "some" or "a lot" for the high prices.

In that context, the Republicans' recent energy bills (which include lots of new drilling, very little in the way of conservation or alternative fuels and massive subsidies to oil companies) are ripe for exploitation by the Democrats.


Dr. Strangelove said...

I think most people intuitively understand (OK, maybe I'm dreaming...) that the President of the U.S. really doesn't have a whole lot to do with the price of gasoline. So blaming Bush for that is probably not going to work.

But you are right, RxR: there are ways Democrats can exploit this situation. The Republicans have done it to themselves--their program of forking over even more money to the gas companies is lunacy. I think most people also realize that Big Oil is doing very well right now--and they understand that when the industry tries to blame "environmental regulations" for their problems that it's a load of crap. After Katrina, Americans are less inclined to listen to rich Republican cronies who try to shift the blame to someone else for the results of their incompetence and greed.

The Democrats should propose a massive program to invest in domestic energy sources like solar, geothermal, tidal, and wind power. (I'd add "and nuclear" too, but unfortunately the Left is blindly opposed to it for no good reason.)

The problem isn't that we're using up too much energy--the problem is that we're using up too much of the wrong kind of energy. We don't need to slow down the economy--we just need to give it the right fuel. It's time for Democrats to say the "All Oil" strategy has failed. Enough talking about alternative fuels as though they were just an "alternative." Enough lip service to ending our dependence on foreign oil. With gas prices above $3 per gallon, with no respite in sight, it's just common sense.

Well, unless you're a rich Texas oilman, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

OO! I like the "All Oil" tag line! That's great.

But I would add that there are good reasons to think that nuclear power is less preferable to solar. Solar power has lower costs for small consumers and in combination with laws permitting selling personal solar power surplusses back to the grid, it would help break the monopoly of energy companies like Enron et al. Nuclear power would be so costly to set up and only economical on a mass scale that it would reinforce rather than weaken the power of energy producing monopolies. That alone is reason to oppose it in my view.

What we need is a market for electricity based on a difused power grid of renewable energy sources. I'd like to see Republicans oppose that on "free market" grounds! It would force them to admit that for all their rhetoric about markets they are really just corporatists. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Dr. Strangelove said...

Glad you liked the "All Oil" label. Though I admit I baited you, I am not going to debate nuclear power without doing a lot more research than I have time for right now. (I'll just wait for fusion... and wait... and wait...)

The solar proposals you discuss are good ones. California almost got legislation like that, but Democrats added a provision to require workers on large-scale, commercial solar facilities to be paid a union-prevailing wage, and so Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed it.

Anonymous said...

That story about California's solar bill just underscores the need to difuse the power grid. Solar technology is cheap enough (or nearly so) to have every residential dwelling have its own solar power source that could supply a large percentage of its power. Perhaps even a surplus.

And for our future debate. Please note that my opposition to nuclear power isn't an opposition to the technology itself but to the way in which the cost of that technology interacts with a market for power. Fusion wouldn't address my main objection - that nuclear power reinforces big energy's monopoly.

Oh, and about Bush's responsibility for oil prices. I don't think the President sets the price of gas. But when you have a President, Vice President, and Congressional leadership all dominated by Texans (Bush, Cheney, De Lay) with close ties to Big Oil, it is no surprise that when profits and prices are up, there are still bills being passed giving billions in subsidies to Big Oil. Do they set the price in Washington? No. Do they abdicate their resonsibility to regulate the oil industry and prevent profiteering and cartel-like price fixing? Yes. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

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