Saturday, June 21, 2008

WE CAN'T DRILL, CONSERVE, ALTERNATE, OR TAX OUR WAY OUT OF THIS ANY TIME SOON


Will the windfall profits tax bring the price of gas down one cent? No. Will drilling in ANWR lower gas prices tomorrow? No. Can we have efficient alternative fuels at a cheaper cost than gas, any time soon? No. Will cutting down on our driving, and buying more fuel efficient cars bring down gas prices now? No.



Whenever I hear "We can't drill our way out of this problem," I have three replies: "We can't conserve, alternate, or tax our way out of it, either." None of these will lower gas prices for years.



So next time anyone says "that won't bring gas prices down one cent," remember that neither will any solution they have, in the near term. The fact is that we need a combination of increased domestic oil production and refining capacity, as we encourage promising alternative fuels. Conservation should be encouraged, and financially incentivized, when possible. There has to be a real compromise for all of these long-term measures to pass. Anything less will not be a comprehensive energy policy, and any short-term solution congress comes up with will probably do more harm than good.

Addendum: We can't tax our way out of this, or any of our major national challenges, in the near OR long term. Just so we're clear on that.

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