The GOP is all for talking up (if not necessarily imposing) “draconian” budget cuts, going after entitlements, removing bargaining rights from public employee unions, etc.—all of which we think are necessary—but, as Jack Kemp used to say, the GOP also needs to be viewed as the pro-jobs, pro-growth party. Spending cuts fit into this strategy, but still smack somewhat of painful root canal surgery.
How about Republicans go after some low-hanging fruit? You know, like the prices of gasoline at the pump. It’s astounding that we even have to propose such a tactic, but the GOP’s silence on the spiking price of gas and its correlation with Obama’s anti-energy policies suggests that the Republicans are tone deaf on this one. Americans feel the price at the pump. And they feel it often. They’re far less concerned with a “Continuing Resolution” and other such Washington techno-speak. The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.43, and it’s only March. In fact, gas prices have skyrocketed 21% since the protests in Libya began two weeks ago. Again, it’s only March.
What happens when Americans start taking their summer vacations en masse and it’s $4 a gallon, $5 a gallon, or higher?
Of course, the Left favors wallet-crushing gas prices for two reasons: It gives them an opportunity to prey upon their favorite whipping boy—the oil companies—while also allowing them to fantasize publicly about how marvelous are their eco-princess green dreams of windmills and solar panels.
A day should not go by on which Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner aren’t giving a press conference about how Obama’s energy policies are to blame for the soaring price at the pump and for killing domestic energy jobs at home.
Here are some suggestions. Take note, gentlemen.
Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has blocked the exploration for and production of shale oil in the Rockies, Dakotas, and elsewhere, even though we sit atop enough shale oil reserves to last us a century alone. Let’s repeat that. Just in shale oil, America’s energy needs could be met for 100 years, without the use of any imports.
But the left demurs.
Or how about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)? We have at least 10.4 billion barrels of oil in that barren wasteland of ice. But domestic exploration is currently verboten, as the lefties have convinced lawmakers that ANWR is a lush garden of blossoming trees. It’s not. Google-Earth it.
Then there’s the permit to drill on the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska that the Obama administration is currently jamming up, as reported in HUMAN EVENTS, which asked, “If Americans can’t produce oil from a petroleum reserve, where can we produce it?”
Good question indeed. And one that the GOP should be asking the Obama administration each and every day up to the 2012 presidential election.
Not only would exploiting America’s oil reserves reduce our dependence on unstable Middle Eastern countries and end painful increases in oil and gas prices, it would create a steady stream of tens of thousands of jobs … for Americans.
And that’s from domestic oil production alone, not even factoring in the thousands of jobs and the energy created through the use of coal and nuclear power.
The point is, GOP legislators haven’t done nearly enough, as a party, to become identified with programs that will enhance economic and job growth,especially through energy production. Cutting spending is important, but we won’t end the deficits unless the economy starts to bounce back, and a robust energy policy is key to this.
Wake up, guys.