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August 8, 2008

On the Right Side: Democrats to blame for energy crisis


— The last two columns, using facts, reasoning and common sense, removed the oil companies and the administration from culpability involving high energy prices. Who's left then? Congress and its environmental radicals, of course.

Nancy, Harry and now Obama simply say, like trained parrots, "We can't drill ourselves out of the problem."

You can expect to hear this phrase over and over right up to election time, even though it is blatantly false. After stating this, one might wonder what their plan is.

First, their strategy has been to blame, in addition to the oil companies and Bush, those individuals speculating in oil futures.

What is wrong with this? People speculate in all kinds of commodities. Some win big and some novices lose big (except for Hillary and her earlier cattle futures bonanza).

Don't the Democrats understand that when demand goes up and supply remains constant, prices rise? This is especially true with necessities. People "speculate" in all kinds of investment opportunities. Stocks, bonds, art and real estate; the list goes on and on.

If you want to prevent speculators from profiting, show them you're serious about increasing supplies through on- and off-shore drilling and extracting oil from shale in the Bakken region of the Midwest, where there exists an estimated supply that would dwarf all of Saudi Arabia's known reserves.

As Newt Gingrich said recently, if the government stated today that we would be releasing the oil in our strategic reserves and showed the world we had a serious drilling strategy, prices would drop immediately, taking the lucrativeness out of oil speculation.

I guess I have to say it once more. The strategy should be to implement rational conservation plans, increase the supply of oil as a bridge until we unleash our entrepreneurial spirit, and provide incentives to come up with alternative energy sources so that we may maintain our present standard of living.

Pretty much common sense. I would ride a scooter for transportation, but only because it would be fun and it would save me money. I wouldn't be doing it because of some global-warming hoax.

The same is true with wind turbines. They seem to be making great strides in this area, and as soon as they become cost-effective, and for no other reason, you'll see one in my backyard.

Now, to the Democrats' idea of an energy plan. First they want to have a windfall profits tax against the oil companies.

Who do you think will end up paying this tax? It will simply be passed down to the final consumer _ you and me.

We had a tax like this in 1980 and it was a disaster. We lost jobs overseas and energy costs increased, making us even more dependent on foreign oil. That Congress was at least smart enough to repeal it.

Second, Congress wants to impose sanctions and sue Saudi Arabia if it doesn't increase its output by a million barrels a day or more.

Here we have the Democrats insisting other countries increase their output while at the same time not allowing our reserves to be touched. This really makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

So who are the groups responsible for our present crisis? The usual ones. The leftist liberals, of whom probably 90 percent are Democrats, and their special-interest groups whose "campaign contributions" have our representatives right in their front pocket.

Some of these wacko groups are the eco-terrorists, the environmental radicals and the anti-capitalist crowd.

This winter is going to be a watershed moment in history. Already you have people spending anywhere from $60 to $100 simply to fill up their cars. Do you really think that families who are already struggling to make ends meet will be able to afford $1,300 to $1,400 for heating oil when they fill their 275-gallon tanks two and maybe three times this winter?

So you people in the above-mentioned groups remember this: You are the ones responsible for parents and their children going to bed cold and hungry this winter. You are responsible for all the jobs being lost and the companies that have gone under, which will continue, especially in the trucking industry.

You are the ones responsible for the rapidly rising costs for food and other necessities. You are the ones responsible for all the personal bankruptcies, the continuing trade imbalances and the exportation of high-paying jobs overseas.

You are the ones responsible for parents not being able to provide for their children and give them all the things they should be able to.

Don't you dare try to blame anyone else. You are simply self-labeled elitist intelligentsia and self-appointed do-gooders who are thinking only of yourselves and of controlling other people's lives. I hope you're proud.

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Tom Sears is a professor of accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He can be reached at SearsT@hartwick.edu. His column appears every other week.