Just keep reminding yourself - America could easily be oil and energy independent today. We could supply 100% of our own energy needs. We could actually be in control of our own fate. One two little Things stand in our way - The Republican and the Democrat Party.
Sadly, the last twenty four hours have gone exactly as I predicted in my column yesterday. In fact, you would think I was writing a script and the country's leaders were Hollywood actors, really, really bad actors.
President Bush gave a good speech outlining the immediate steps needed to begin to increase nation's own supply of oil and natural gas. The President's proposals were spot on and every single proposed step should be implemented by Congress without exception and without delay. Each proposed action was logical and intelligent.
Unfortunately, the President was partisan in his delivery, never missing a chance to blame the Democrats for our energy woes. While, sadly I must admit as an aside that President Bush was correct, I wish he had omitted the histrionics and instead held out an olive branch and a pledge of cooperation to the Democrats.
The Democrat response was completely predictable and, unfortunately, bordered on a level of stupidity seldom seen in modern man. The demagoguery, insults, flights of fantasy and hyperbole were simply awesome to behold.
But the bottom line was exactly as predicted, the Democrats promised, vowed and swore that they would do absolutely nothing what-so-ever to increase energy supplies or reduce demand. They would not take even a single step toward energy independence.
But the Democrats did promise they would find somebody to blame. Big oil companies were a likely target. They might investigate Wall Street, I guess because they hope to find hidden supplies of oil there. Oh, and they promised to make it a "campaign issue."
And they did promise to repeal the laws of supply and demand. And, even if they did allow more exploration and drilling, they guaranteed it wouldn't affect oil prices for at least five years. Unfortunately, most of us remember that they told us that five years ago. Planning ahead is just something the Democrats don't do. I guess if they did it might eliminate the sacred "campaign issue."
I know the Democrats have a raft of good ideas, too. We must increase the mileage standards on automobiles. And we must fund research and development of alternative energy resources. Certainly we must protect the environment and prevent windfall profiteering.
All day yesterday and today I have been waiting for a single lone Democrat or Republican to wake up and say, "The American People are hurting. The economy is in serious trouble and we are facing a personal and an economic disaster. Let us end the attacks and stop the blame game, combine our best ideas, compromise and solve this problem."
I could end up waiting forever.
Paul Richter wrote a really excellent and even handed article just a few hours ago in the LA Times. "Runaway oil prices have set off a furious new blame game in which political leaders and key economic players are scrambling to deflect responsibility for the deepening crisis."
"With outraged consumers protesting in the streets of many countries, oil producers are blaming speculators, speculators are blaming consumers and politicians are blaming one another. Consequences could entail not just a tarnished image but real damage to economic interests and political fortunes."
Follow the link above and read every word of Richter's article.
At our regular breakfast this morning I sat with our usual group of laborers, lawyers, bankers and small businessmen and women. The restaurant owner, a good friend, was reworking her menu prices because her food costs have nearly tripled in the last few weeks. Raw cost and undoubtedly increased, but the transportation costs are really driving up prices. This is the hidden danger of inaction by the gridlocked U.S. Congress.
Call Thing One and Thing Two in Congress today and tell them a thing or two. Let them know they simply must compromise and show some real leadership in bringing the USA toward energy self sufficiency. This is not a "campaign issue." It's a real problem and we need and deserve real leadership.