4.24.2006

Republican Hypocrites

Oil is currently just over $75 a barrel. I thought it would be interesting to read some of the statements various Republicans made about the Clinton administration back in 2000. Candidate Bush was blaming President Clinton for oil at around $30 a barrel and gas prices going over a whopping $1.50 per gallon.
Rep. Terry Everett: "The Clinton Administration has failed in its duty to develop a policy to deal with our national energy supply and is therefore directly accountable for the higher prices Americans are now paying at the gas pumps."

Dennis Hastert: "House Speaker Dennis Hastert accused the Clinton administration Friday of misleading members of Congress about the causes of skyrocketing gas prices in the Midwest."

Rep. Wally Herger: "Congressman Wally Herger recently denounced the Clinton-Gore Administration's complacency during the current gas price crisis. 'Northern Californians are being held hostage at the gas pump,' Herger said. 'The Clinton-Gore Administration has demonstrated a complete and total lack of leadership in preventing this problem. It is a clear failure of domestic and foreign policy.'"

Larry Kudlow: "The Clinton-Gore administration's hapless and incoherent management of foreign policy is nowhere as evident as in their bungling on OPEC's oil-price hike. ... While crude oil prices could drop to $25 per barrel, they will stay well above the average $20 real price of oil registered over the past ten years. And way above the $10 worldwide average marginal cost of producing new oil. Meanwhile gas prices at the pump are likely to be upwards of $2 per gallon well into the summer."

Glenn Spencer: "In recent weeks, gas prices have surged to their highest level in a decade. Prices for home heating oil and natural gas are expected to rise by about 30 percent this winter. ... With the Clinton-Gore administration's policies largely to blame for the pain being felt by consumers, Vice President Gore's camp has pulled out all the stops to shift blame away from his own administration."

Various Repubs: "Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls), Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), and Mark Green (R-Green Bay) today blasted Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and the Clinton-Gore Administration for their failure to implement a comprehensive energy policy to deal with staggering gas prices Wisconsin consumers continue to face at the pumps."
Where are the loud, outraged voices of these people now? They've gone very quiet for some reason. And what's George W. Bush's solution to the problem? Sorry folks - you're on your own.

2 comments:

KoalaBear said...

I spend quite a lot of time studying the oil market, since the price of oil effectively sets the value of money. The oil industry knows that the high price of oil is a detriment to their real profits. You see, the less things that money can buy, the less that money is worth. It's no use making lots of money if it cannot buy anything.

$80 per barrel is about the point at which the economy would truly suffer, because the rate of inflation would start rising and the government would be powerless to stop it. The oil market is fragile now because the effective supply of oil is very tight due to stability issues in Venezuela and the Middle East, and because the US market cannot currently absorb what the major oil producers can produce due to our refinery capacity being short. Thus, the only ways to ease the price of oil are to 1) increase domestic production (e.g. drilling in places like ANWR) and/or 2) increase domestic refinery capacity. There are significant legal barriers to domestic exploration and production, and there are no current plans to increase US domestic refinery capacity to meet domestic demand. Both of these issues have been high priorities on the White House agenda since 2001.

Those people quoted in your post were asinine for suggesting that Clinton really had any ability to affect oil and gasoline prices. Clinton, however, never even proposed the policies or agenda that would solve the problem, but Bush has. Congress has to change the laws prohibiting new domestic drilling, and states have to ease restrictions on refinery construction. Of course, what Congress and the states fail to do is all "Bush's fault".

John in Atlanta said...

ANWR is not a viable resource because even if we started exploration today it would be 10 years before we saw the first drop of oil.

You were correct in saying that Clinton never proposed policies or agenda to solve the oil crisis. He was too busy trying to get the Republican Congress to fund research into alternative sources of energy. That and defending himself against that horrible sex thing.

Alternative energy research should still be our goal but the oil barons who are running this country won't allow in now either.