The Gas Prices We Deserve

George WillBy George F Will

Rising in the Senate on May 13, Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, explained: “I rise to discuss rising energy prices.” The president was heading to Saudi Arabia to seek an increase in its oil production, and Schumer’s gorge was rising.

Saudi Arabia, he said, “holds the key to reducing gasoline prices at home in the short term.” Therefore arms sales to that kingdom should be blocked unless it “increases its oil production by one million barrels per day,” which would cause the price of gasoline to fall “50 cents a gallon almost immediately.”

Can a senator, with so many things on his mind, know so precisely how the price of gasoline would respond to that increase in the oil supply? Schumer does know that if you increase the supply of something, the price of it probably will fall. That is why he and 96 other senators recently voted to increase the supply of oil on the market by stopping the flow of oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which protects against major physical interruptions. Seventy-one of the 97 senators who voted to stop filling the reserve also oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

One million barrels is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Bill Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Seventy-two of today’s senators — including Schumer, of course, and 38 other Democrats, including Barack Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain — have voted to keep ANWR’s estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market.

So Schumer, according to Schumer, is complicit in taking $10 away from every American who buys 20 gallons of gasoline. “Democracy,” said H.L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” The common people of New York want Schumer to be their senator, so they should pipe down about gasoline prices, which are a predictable consequence of their political choice.

Also disqualified from complaining are all voters who sent to Washington senators and representatives who have voted to keep ANWR’s oil in the ground and who voted to put 85 percent of America’s offshore territory off-limits to drilling. The U.S. Minerals Management Service says that restricted area contains perhaps 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — 10 times as much oil and 20 times as much natural gas as Americans use in a year.

Read the rest of this op-ed at the Washington Post.

5 Responses to The Gas Prices We Deserve

  1. Chet Gunhus June 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    George Will, as always, is spot-on, eloquent and informative. It is hard to reason against his logic. I wish more senators, Republican and Democrat, would take his introspection into account.

  2. Kari Benson June 7, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    Who’s that ‘Chet Gunhus’ dude?? Never heard of him!!

    I wish I had more time to spend on political endeavors, and doing my own research, so I wouldn’t be so reliant upon the information given to me from (albiet conservative) speakers/radio show hosts, etc.

    But, like most conservatives, I’m too busy working (at a real job, not a government one), raising my kids, and paying my ever-rising bills on time to spend as much time as I would like on this. So, I am thus ever thankful for those who do the research, and will continue to trust in and forward their information on to as many as I am able, in the little bit of time I do have.

    God Bless and keep fighting the Good fight!

    Fellow warrior,
    Kari Benson

  3. Chris Oakes June 10, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    The whole environmental scare the we americans are subjected to is what caused this energy crisis. In a recent article I read, some 3000 scientists signed a petition stating that “global warming” is a farce. I would love to have Al Gore and his fellow global warming pals to come up to Minnesota where earlier this month we had frost advisories in northern Minnesota. Guess that’s more proof of “global warming” I say drill oil where we can and help Americans for once.

  4. dan vogelgesang August 26, 2008 at 12:54 am #

    Go ahead and let them drill all they want. Then what? At some point other energy alternatives need to be supported as we cannot grow our supply enough just as we cannot build ever wider highways to support the growth of a population like in Phoenix. You can slam Gore all you want but would it not be better to recognize honestly the merit of the science? I am sick of the blaming and name calling and am surprised to see that come out of Kenyon kids that had an education. Other Americans are not your enemy, but if you want to treat me and other progressive minded people in a dismissive way, so be it. Politics as usual. Why are you in such a hurry to pay taxes to oil men when you could start subsidizing wind farms in Southern Minnesota and Iowa? Or photovoltaics in Phoenix? Sorry for the tone. Our politics are mean and selfish and we are wasting our God given position in the workd and have been for quite some time.

    Check our the German Green Party.

    Love is the answer and George Will is just a man like Gore.

    Daniel John Vogelgesang

  5. Dan McGrath August 27, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    Define “preogressive minded” for me. It seems to me that “progresives” are actually anti-progress, unless it’s just a matter of making progress toward a goal of socialism. Is it progress to reverse the trend of ever more abundant food? It it progress to reverse advances in standards of living? It it progress to restrict individual freedoms? It it progress to balkanize our society? Is it progress to force the middle class into poverty with obsene energy prices (in the name of mother Gaia, of course) and excessive taxation? Is it progress to cram more and more people into tall condos and apartments in dense urban environments where crime and hostility continue to rise, instead of people owing a piece of their own land and some space?

    I’m in no hurry to “pay taxes to oilmen.” That’s a plain foolish statement. Oil companies get like 8 cents back on a gallon of gas. Government gets the lion’s share of what we pay at the pump. We shouldn’t be subsidizing any energy! That kind of meddling is what screws up the markets and leads to rising costs and corruption. We certainly shouldn’t be subsidizing wind power! It’s astonishingly ineffecient, expensive, requires more land to implement than any other form of power production, and those giant turbines are knocking eagles out of the sky left and right.

    The German Green Party? No thanks. I learned about Germany’s brand of socialism in history class.

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