More Torricelling of Kerry
ith the election season moving into full swing as Americans start thinking about their summer travel plans, it’s sadly predictable that politicians will try to curry favor with voters by playing silly blame games and proposing simplistic quick fixes for rising gasoline prices, which are averaging more than $2 a gallon. A case in point is the demand made yesterday by 20 Senate Democrats that the government release as much as 60 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the next two months.
Experts estimate that at most, turning on the spigot now would knock only a few cents off a gallon.
Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, knows this, of course, and he demeans the seriousness of his own candidacy when he suggests that President Bush could single-handedly bring down fuel costs. Senator Kerry has urged the administration to stop buying oil for the reserve, as if that would make a difference.
Rather than pretending that there are facile switch-flipping fixes, Senator Kerry should be talking about bolstering conservation efforts and fuel economy standards, and encouraging new investment in refining capacity.
Why shouldn’t Kerry recommend “switch-flipping” when he’s already so good at “flip-flopping?”
When the NYTimes starts whacking the Democrat’s Golden Boy, he’s in serious trouble.
Here are two quotes from the piece that I found particularly interesting, given the source:
The real culprit behind rising energy costs is the roaring demand from growing economies, especially China’s and the United States’, though the volatile situation in the Middle East does seem to add a risk premium.
In the meantime, we all need to keep the shrill hyperbole about “record high” oil prices in perspective. A barrel of oil now costs more than $40, but when adjusted for inflation, that price is less alarming. During past spikes, oil has cost well over twice that amount in today’s dollars. Yes, high fuel costs could ultimately endanger the economic recovery, but there is no reason to believe that they will do so at this level.
Let’s see, the American economy is “growing” and producing “roaring demand,”; oil has, in the past, cost twice as much as it does now; there is no reason to believe that current high oil prices will endanger our economic recovery.
Why is this not front-page news, but instead buried in the opinion section?