"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Gas Prices Rise For 27 Straight Days; Obama’s Answer? Raise Taxes On American Energy Companies

March 5th, 2012 by Mark Truman · No Comments

Energy Secretary Steven Chu

(“Times Tough For Energy Overhaul,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/08)

The AP reports today, “The price at the gas pump rose over the weekend and the nationwide average is nearing $3.80 a gallon. Oil is close to $107 per barrel because of tensions tied to Iran’s nuclear program. AAA says the national average for gasoline [rose] 2.6 cents since Friday, including a fractional gain on Monday. The price has risen for 27 straight days, to $3.77 a gallon.”

And the Detroit Free Press adds, “AAA Michigan says gasoline prices are up about 25 cents per gallon during the past week to a statewide average of $3.93. The auto club says today the average is about 40 cents per gallon higher than last year at this time.”

In an op-ed for the Bowling Green Daily News last week, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wrote, “Kentuckians are paying an average of $3.69 per gallon at the pump now, and some predict we could very easily see that price go as high as $5 per gallon by this summer as demand ramps up to seasonal levels. Prices that high would be unprecedented and quite a jump from the average price of $1.85 per gallon just over three years ago, when President Barack Obama took office. But it’s no surprise this president doesn’t seem to recognize high gas prices as a problem or a pain in people’s wallets. When he first ran for president, he said he took no issue with record-high gas prices, only that he ‘would have preferred a gradual adjustment’ to get them there. And the man he appointed to be his Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, once bragged, ‘Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.’ Well, they’re certainly on their way.”

Yet the Obama administration continues to stand in the way of more and cheaper American energy. He rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought oil from Canada and helped move oil from North Dakota and Montana to the rest of the country. The pipeline also would have created tens of thousands of American jobs.

And now the president is calling for higher taxes on American energy producers. How this is supposed to lower gas prices create jobs is a mystery. Leader McConnell noted last week that “nobody” “can show me that raising taxes on American energy production will lower gas prices and create jobs.”

He continued, “[T]his is merely an attempt to deflect from his failed policies. Instead of returning again and again to tax hikes that increase consumers’ costs, the administration and its Democrat allies in Congress should open their eyes to the opportunity presented by the Keystone XL pipeline and the vast energy resources we have right here at home, and to the hundreds of thousands of jobs that opening them up could create.

If President Obama really wants to do something about American energy that could affect high gas prices, he could reject policies like raising taxes on American energy companies that make it harder to produce energy here in the United States and take positive steps like approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

Related:

Obama: “I Didn’t Overpromise,” But What About Stimulus?; Why The Delay On Keystone XL Which Costs Taxpayers Nothing?

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