The conservative advocacy group Freedom Watch -- which used to focus on national security issues but apparently now has no particular "cause" -- has announced that it will be making robocalls into a few dozen Congressional districts, including the Kansas 2nd (Nancy Boyda). The group said the ads will focus on gas prices and Rep. Boyda's vote against offshore drilling.
This obsession with affecting gas prices by increasing supply infuriates me.
I don't know if y'all remember Econ 101, but there are two sides to that chart that looks like an X. You've got the supply part down. In theory, increasing supply while demand remains constant will decrease the price (though economists believe IF such a theory were to work, it would take nearly a decade to see any noticeable affect).
The problem is, most economists believe any increase in supply will result in a corresponding increase in demand, thereby negating any downward pressure on price and perhaps even causing it to rise some. Not to mention increasing carbon output and ignoring our reliance on carbon-based fuels of which we have a finite supply.
I'm not going to go so far as to imply that its a poorly disguised attempt to increase oil consumption and thus increase the profits of oil companies, but it sort of makes you wonder.
That other line? That's called demand. On this side, the theory is if demand decreases while supply remains constant, prices will decrease.
The answer is conservation. Jimmy Carter hit the nail on the head in his American Malaise speech, though he was chastised for it, the only way to truly ween ourselves off of oil is to enact policies that affect demand, not supply.
We need to be focusing on designing and developing American cars that might actually be feasible to sell 10 years from now. The SUV, the 5,000 lbs car and the 6.5 liter V8 are dying, and it's time for Detroit to realize that.
We need to enact policies that make public transportation in the midwest a real possibility.
We need to start dedicating federal research dollars to developing wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and any other non-carbon-based form of energy production. (Thanks for twice voting against those taxbreaks to encourage alternative fuel research, Sen. Roberts)
We need to start investing in ethanol that is not made from things that we might want to eat.
We need to stop promoting shortsighted policies that do nothing more than increase the profits of oil companies.
The truth is, no matter what we do, gas prices aren't going to be $2.00 a gallon anymore. The only real solution is taking steps to ween ourselves off of ALL oil, not just foreign oil.