Thursday, April 27, 2006

Editorial of the day

I was watching a replay of Neil Cavuto's interview with Senator Dick Durbin this morning. The subject of the interview was alleged price gouging by the oil companies. Frankly, I wanted to strangle Durbin for his smug avoidance of all of Cavuto's points. However, Durbin is just a symptom of the real problem: politicians "politicizing" an issue as they try to dodge their own role in causing the problems.

Enter Thomas Sowell's editorial "Oily politicians". Sowell correctly refers to the cause of the high gas price problem: supply and demand.

The supply part:
"Ironically, the people who are making the most noise about the high price of gasoline are the very people who have for years blocked every attempt to increase our own oil supply. They have opposed drilling for oil off the Atlantic coast, off the Pacific coast, or in Alaska. They have prevented the building of any new oil refineries anywhere for decades.

They have fought against the building of hydroelectric dams or nuclear power plants to generate electricity without the use of oil. They love to talk about their own pet "alternative energy sources," without the slightest attention to what these would cost in terms of money, jobs, or our national standard of living.

The demand part:
"Is it rocket science that, when huge countries like India and China have rapidly growing economies, their demand for oil goes up by leaps and bounds? Is it rocket science that, when demand shoots up but supply doesn't go up as much, prices rise?"

Sowell's coup de grace:
"Is it rocket science that, when oil prices hit new highs, gasoline prices also hit new highs? Do you think the price of wheat could double without the price of bread going up? Would we have politicians running around spouting off about "gouging" by Big Wheat?"

Take that and shove it in your hat, Dick Durbin.

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