My son recently passed his driver’s test and could not be more excited. Unfortunately for him, gas prices are at record highs and Democrats continue to obstruct Republican attempts to solve our energy crisis in the short and long term. As Americans demand relief from the energy burden they bare, the time has come for Republicans and Democrats to work together to solve this crisis.
Election year promises and pandering by Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Jeanne Shaheen don’t get the job done and simply prolong the problem. And further raising the price by increasing taxes at the pump – as supported by Al Franken – certainly does not help either.
The solution to our energy problem will not be a simple one; in fact it will require more than one solution, so let’s put them all on the table. Exploration and drilling are not the only solutions; rather, they are part of a comprehensive solution to ensure energy independence. To that end, President Bush took a step in the right direction recently by lifting the executive order banning offshore oil drilling and has called on Congress to reciprocate. Yet, Democrats continue to drag their feet using rhetoric to promise action while alternatively doing nothing and proposing decades old solutions which are proven failures.
The politics of “do nothing” while blaming oil companies continues to backfire on Democrats. John Harwood of The New York Times reported on a recent poll by Stan Greenberg, former advisor to Bill Clinton, which indicated,
“McCain’s message adding domestic oil production to a policy of alternative energy investment and conservation is favored over Obama’s message that blames oil companies, calls for investments in alternative energy, and rejects limited offshore drilling.”
So while Senator Obama continues to struggle with the complexity of our national problems, Democrat Senate candidates seem equally baffled.
For example, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, a supposed proponent of increased domestic production, cast the deciding vote in committee to continue the prohibition of oil shale development in the western states. Landrieu claims to support repealing the moratorium, but admitted that politics played a role in voting against the legislation in committee – the vote failed 15-14.
For those unfamiliar with oil shale you should know that oil shale reserves in the western states, according to some estimates, represent three times the amount of oil in Saudi Arabia’s reserves. Utilization of these reserves would help to alleviate the strain on Americans’ wallets in the short term as well as create domestic jobs while keeping our money here.
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire is not much better when it comes to solving this crisis – then again she has a history of failing to solve crises. Instead of looking forward to solve our energy crisis, Shaheen has reached back in history to craft her energy solution. Shaheen, like any good Democrat, believes raising taxes is the solution and has advocated for a reinstitution of Jimmy Carter’s windfall profits tax – which, just like Shaheen’s first bid for Senate, was a failure.
The windfall profits tax is a proven failure. Instead of decreasing prices, it drastically raised them by curtailing production and decreasing supply, while demand remained constant. Not to mention such a tax is regressive, since added costs are simply passed on to consumers.
But neither Landrieu nor Shaheen go quite as far as failed radio host Al Franken. During his campaign for Senate, Franken has indicated on several occasions his support for raising gas taxes by 5-10 cents. Franken, who has made millions of dollars joking about rape and authoring pornography, goes on to state he does not even think people would notice such an increase.
Americans are facing a harsh reality while Democrats live in a fantasy world. The time to act is now. Failure to do so is a dereliction of duties for all Members of Congress. We must allow Americans to utilize their amazing ingenuity to create and perfect energy alternatives to ensure long term energy stability and security, while still addressing our short-term needs. We must provide incentives and tax credits to companies leading the way in alternative energy developments. No stone should be left unturned and every avenue explored as we work together to solve this crisis.
The Republicans have a plan to lower gas prices in the short-term while providing incentives for longer-term alternatives. Democrats have rhetoric, failed policies of the past and more taxes as their “solutions.” That is why you continue to see improving poll numbers for Republicans across the country.
On Election Day the choice is clear, the choice is Republican.
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