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Friday, March 04, 2011

The Politics of Gas Prices

Gas (and food) prices are going to be Obama's "Waterloo" in 2012. And Obama won't be playing the part of Duke Wellington.

You can't have high unemployment, high energy prices, and high food prices and expect the party controlling the White House to poll well.

Obama and the Democrats' problem is that they have not had a popular approach to these issues. For example, pursuing ethanol mandates is counterproductive for both gas prices and food prices. Moratoriums on oil drilling restrict supply, while clean energy mandates and permitting slowdowns squeeze utility prices. Each issue is run by a different White House czar, but the sum effect is to push an expensive green agenda.

Perversely, restricting drilling also hurts the federal budget, because oil unpumped is oil untaxed.

Meanwhile, I think the average American voter, unless he is a member of a major labor union, is saying "hold on, let's fix the economy and the budget, and then worry about environmental progress!"

The average American driver also doesn't want to be pushed into a Honda Fit or Ford Fiesta sized car, or to have to pay a $5,000 premium for a hybrid, which is what the aggresive expansion of CAFE standards leads to. The average American wants a comfortable car and cheap gas, and an affordable price for both.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Article at Fuel Fix blog addresses the concerns of the Trans-Alaska pipeline operating at only 25% thanks to regulation.