Great Pain at the Gas Pumps

Perhaps no issue places our economy in a pinch and our foreign standing in peril, more than issues concerning oil. The price of a barrel of oil fluctuates, but consistently climbs as the downward fluctuation is always higher than the last low price.

Granted, gas prices at the pump are not going to go down quickly, but we do need to consider how we have found ourselves at the place where we are, so that we might evaluate a sound approach to the issue. Consider the following issues:

1) Primarily due to lack of tax incentives and stringent environmental regulations, we have not seen a new refinery built in the US in the last ten years. At the same time, a new refinery is built every two years in the Middle East.

2) While global sources of oil are regularly tapped, environmentalist objections have kept US oil companies from drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). ANWR oil drilling would touch only a small portion of the total area of ANWR, but would provide much needed oil for American markets. To his credit, President Bush has fought for ANWR drilling, while both Senator Obama and Senator McCain have opposed ANWR oil drilling.

3) Off-shore drilling could produce billions of barrels of oil. Yet, environmentalist pressure groups have opposed off-shore drilling.

4) Great finds of oil have been reported in the region of Montana and North Dakota, but environmental regulation and negative economic factors have discouraged investment in these oil-producing endeavors.

5) The dollar is at a low point on the international level. Even a year ago, the dollar lost sixty-percent against the British pound. This devaluing of the dollar is primarily due to wild government spending and a federal debt that is beyond management. The result of a devalued dollar is that the US dollar does not have the purchasing power overseas as in times when the dollar fared well against foreign currencies. Plainly said, the American dollar does not have the purchasing power to give American purchasers the advantage in purchasing from importers. Hence, the prices of imported oil will be higher for American consumers.

6) United States investors have not been encouraged to develop alternative means of energy. Recent developments by T. Boone Pickens may be a positive step in working toward alternative energy means.

Conclusion: the free market system works well, and if the market is unleashed, pure American initiative will solve the dilemma. Great truth will be found in the adage under socialism, a thousand bureaucrats will be hired to divide up the shortage, but in a free market, a thousand salesmen will be hired to sell off the excess.0 An answer from government will bring forced intervention into the market. A market system will eventually, work for the benefit of consumers.

Newt Gingrich is leading the way on a campaign to Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. Check out his website American

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