April 21, 2006

But What Do They Propose To Do About It?

The NY Times headline says it all: "Democrats Eager to Exploit Anger Over Gas Prices".

Fine, exploit anger. That's about all they're good at. But while voters are unhappy about gas prices, what reason exactly are Democrats going to give that having them in power makes any difference? They certainly have no track record to boast of.

"While Democrats are eagerly laying blame for the situation on the Republicans, they did little to advance energy measures in eight years under President Bill Clinton. Democrats remain split to some degree over how to proceed, but in general favor greater investment in "clean fuel" technologies, more incentives for driving fuel-efficient vehicles and stronger steps toward reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Those positions were included in a measure sponsored last year by more than 30 Democratic House members who opposed the Republican version of the energy bill. Even so, 75 Democrats in the House and 25 in the Senate voted with the Republicans to pass Mr. Bush's bill.

The recommendations of the memorandum to Democratic candidates include holding a campaign event at a gas station "where you call for a real commitment to bringing down gas prices and pledge that, as a member of Congress, you will fight for families in your district, not the oil and gas executives for which the Republican Congress has fought so hard."

A survey by Public Agenda, a nonpartisan research organization, in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs magazine suggests that the message could not be more timely. The survey said voters now believed that fears over energy independence rivaled the Iraq war as the leading foreign policy issue for the nation.

Daniel Yankelovich, chairman of Public Agenda, said the survey found that 90 percent of Americans viewed the lack of energy independence as a risk to security, that 88 percent said problems abroad were endangering supplies and increasing prices and that 85 percent believed that the federal government could do something if it tried."

Um, it has been tried. It's called tapping into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Democrats are consistently on record as vigorously opposing it every single time it comes to a vote.

Sure Democrats (as noted above) are in favor of "'clean fuel' technologies, more incentives for driving fuel-efficient vehicles and stronger steps toward reducing emissions of greenhouse gases" but how exactly does that lower gas prices? It doesn't. And gas prices are what people are so upset about. You have only two ways to lower gas prices - increase the supply or cut gas taxes - and Democrats don't believe in either. Holding stunts like having campaign rallies at gas stations is about as lame as you can get.

If Republicans in Congress are smart (and there's no reason to assume that they are) they should 1) hammer the Dems over their hostility to ANWR drilling and 2) call for even a modest cut in Federal gas taxes. Both are do-able, practical solutions that would force Democrats to show voters that they are the real price gougers.

Posted by: Gary at 02:00 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 The shame is that the Dems LOVE high gas prices. It's their favorite "incentive" to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles, ferchrisakes. This is total partisan opportunism and zero principle. Mealy-mouthed BS is all it is.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at April 21, 2006 04:23 PM (LmDCV)

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