Politicians Pontificate Policies That Pump Up Prices

WASHINGTON– The rising price of gasoline has triggered a rite of passage in Washington – cries of excessive speculation and price gouging.  Yesterday, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) proposed setting federal price caps on gasoline.  Today, a group of Democrat lawmakers put forward a proposal to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  In response, Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, issued the following statement:

“Our federal energy policy, not oil companies or speculators, is most responsible for increased gasoline prices.  By constructing regulatory roadblocks to developing our nation’s resources, the government is promoting a shortage of supply that would not otherwise exist.  If the U.S., the world’s third largest producer of oil, made an aggressive commitment to increased production, the market would surely not continue to bet on higher crude oil prices.”

“By promoting the same tired policies that will actually make the problem worse, lawmakers in Washington are once again deflecting blame for their own inaction.  Price controls were already tried by President Carter – the gas lines and rationing that followed are a testament to their failure.  The Strategic Petroleum Reserve exists for true emergencies like war or natural disaster – not for political convenience.”

“At least one group of lawmakers may be on the right track.  The American Energy Initiative, comprised of a group of GOP lawmakers and led by Speaker John Boehner, looks to increase energy supplies.  While we remain wary of any promises from Washington, this effort seems to have a goal that we can’t help but agree with – get government out of the way.  We hope the American Energy Initiative leads to substantial steps forward so that the ideas of the Carter era do not continue to bog down the national energy debate.”

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