Gasoline hit almost $4/gallon at some Chicago stations this past weekend, and as one can well imagine, folks aren’t happy.
Last year at this time Chicagoans were paying an average of $2.84/gallon and with the 10 cent rise in the last few days this is the highest cost of gas since 2008. According to the same article the average price of gas for the rest of the nation for regular unleaded is $3.37.
According to analyst Peter Beutel the crises and events in the Middle East, mainly Libya and Egypt are adding to nervousness in the industry which has crept the price of a barrel of oil up to $97.
Approaches to energy issues and the fate of oil and natural gas drilling and coal mining versus ramping up “renewable energies” has largely fallen down party lines. The majority of Republicans are in favor of using our domestic energy fossil fuels to help the US become energy independent while President Obama and the Democrats are mostly concerned about the “clean energies.”
Now at least one Democrat may be having a change of heart. According to the NewCanaan on-line in Connecticut, Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT #4) has been listening to drivers’ woes and their complaints of $4/gallon gas. While opposing drilling in ANWR and some sensitive areas in the Gulf, Himes now states:
â€œI do think we need to move away from [drilling], but give me a choice between getting it here and importing it from Saudi Arabia and Iâ€™ll take getting it from here any day,â€ he said.
Now if we could just get the majority of other Democrats to change their tune.
Couple the Gulf drilling moratorium and Obama’s desire to eliminate what he calls “costly tax cuts for oil companies” could spell disaster for consumers at the pump and cost thousands of jobs. According to the Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce:
“Big Oil has long been a plump piÃ±ata for politicos and environmental groups, but a simple cost-benefit analysis shows that eliminating decades-old tax rules for oil and gas could be a lousy deal for consumers,” Bryce writes in The Wall Street Journal.
Although Obama wants to move away from biofuels, the realism is taxpayer expense for using ethanol, for example, to reduce the amount of gasoline runs about $1.78/gallon. This means the entire taxpayer cost for the ethanol boondoggle amounts to around $16.2 billion.
Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association called Obama’s proposal:
“a sweetheart deal for the state-owned oil companies in Russia, Iran, China and other competitor nations, and for the Chinese who produce almost all the rare earth minerals needed to make batteries for electric vehicles.â€
One must understand that oil companies do not get subsidies. For the present, at least, they get tax breaks for creating jobs and producing their commodities.
We need more on the side of tapping our domestic fossil fuels or gas prices could make a huge hit to the pocketbook. And that means consumers will have less dollars to spend in other areas and the dominoes will begin to fall.