Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oil Remember You

Gasoline has passed $3 a gallon here in Miami like, as Ernie Harwell used to say, “a house aside the road.” So of course you’d expect the Republicans — who, after all, say they speak for the hard-working people and small businesses who are getting royally screwed by high oil prices — would be upset. After all, according to Democratic Underground, they’ve been down this road before.

Here for your viewing pleasure are statements that various Republicans made about the Clinton administration back in 2000, when Candidate Bush was blaming President Clinton for oil at around $30 a barrel and gas prices going over a whopping $1.50 per gallon.

Rep. Terry Everett: “The Clinton Administration has failed in its duty to develop a policy to deal with our national energy supply and is therefore directly accountable for the higher prices Americans are now paying at the gas pumps.”

Dennis Hastert: “House Speaker Dennis Hastert accused the Clinton administration Friday of misleading members of Congress about the causes of skyrocketing gas prices in the Midwest.”

Rep. Wally Herger: “Congressman Wally Herger recently denounced the Clinton-Gore Administration’s complacency during the current gas price crisis. ‘Northern Californians are being held hostage at the gas pump,’ Herger said. ‘The Clinton-Gore Administration has demonstrated a complete and total lack of leadership in preventing this problem. It is a clear failure of domestic and foreign policy.'”

Larry Kudlow: “The Clinton-Gore administration’s hapless and incoherent management of foreign policy is nowhere as evident as in their bungling on OPEC’s oil-price hike. … While crude oil prices could drop to $25 per barrel, they will stay well above the average $20 real price of oil registered over the past ten years. And way above the $10 worldwide average marginal cost of producing new oil. Meanwhile gas prices at the pump are likely to be upwards of $2 per gallon well into the summer.”

Glenn Spencer: “In recent weeks, gas prices have surged to their highest level in a decade. Prices for home heating oil and natural gas are expected to rise by about 30 percent this winter. … With the Clinton-Gore administration’s policies largely to blame for the pain being felt by consumers, Vice President Gore’s camp has pulled out all the stops to shift blame away from his own administration.”

Various Repubs: “Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls), Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), and Mark Green (R-Green Bay) today blasted Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and the Clinton-Gore Administration for their failure to implement a comprehensive energy policy to deal with staggering gas prices Wisconsin consumers continue to face at the pumps.”

Where are the loud, outraged voices of these people now? They’ve gone very quiet for some reason. And what’s George W. Bush’s solution to the problem? Sorry folks – you’re on your own.

It’s interesting how when the Democrats are in the White House, the Republicans demand some sort of government program to control the soaring cost of energy, but when the tables are turned, anything short of the free market is socialism. The difference is that the Democrats didn’t have Chevron and ExxonMobil dictating the energy policy to them, and if you can’t afford to put $75 worth of gas in your SUV every week, you’re cheating those oil company CEO’s out of their mansions in Palm Beach.