The Next War: A War on Gas

If you want to feel a little sick just check into the CNN post dated May 6, 2004 that was giving a campaign update focusing on how to handle rising gasoline prices.  People, the writing was on the wall of the gas station and not just in the restroom!

The Washington Post Editorial today has some plainspeak about Bush's meaningless rhetoric (still) on the gas situation.  It addresses what the man and Congress could have done but didn't in the past five years he has been in office that may have possibly headed off this type of situation.  The Post, however, concedes that the blame does not lie entirely with the President although it does point out that he leads the way (after all, he's the "decider").  The article points out that "one reason for growing demand is that people drive inefficient cars. They drive inefficient cars because public policy, long shaped by the president and by Congress, has made it advantageous to do so. Until that changes, little else will." 

Even now, when the word is out that there is a "problem," Bush still doesn't propose anything that will either immediately or in the long run effectively deal with the rising price of gas.  His proposal to temporarily suspend the filling of the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) is nothing new.  John Kerry made the same proposal in 2004 in response to $38 dollar/barrel, $1.78 at the pump prices (prices on April 26, 2006 in Orem UT:  $2.69/gal for reg. unleaded) and was highly criticized for politicizing our national oil security.  It was an idea with negligible results then as it is now.  To criticize the idea then and propose it now, however, is only hypocritical.

The SPR proposal and all the dribble about investigating price gouging are simply continuations of the 'talk a lot and do next to nothing' tactics of the Bush Administation.  Bush's roots are in oil, as are Cheney's.  They are not going to do anything  that will really threaten their oil buddies.  If they can distract the American public, however, they will consider themselves successful.  

Each person must make the individual decision to cut back on gasoline consumption by driving less and demanding fuel efficient and clean emission vehicles rather than SUVs or other guzzling polluters.  We can't count on the president or Congress to do what they're elected to do — make decisions and policy that will make the world better for ALL people, not just those who can make massive campaign donations– instead, we must do this ourselves. 


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