“Gas crisis”

The gas “crisis” reappears for the summer driving season, right on cue. Washington is naturally “shocked” at the obvious market manipulation and price gouging, and politicians stand in line for photo-ops at local gas stations, venting their righteous indignation and ignoring the fact that America has gone out of its way in the past to allow domestic drilling or the building of new oil refineries, so voila! Now they’re going to fix it with a rebate or some showy hearings where oil execs are lined up with their right hands raised (the ultimate photo-op).

It is all just too pathetically predictable to warrant serious comment. Our crisis is nothing more than the piling up of our consumer choices over the past several decades, our willingness to make investments within our own country (especially in refining), and this weird public sense we have that cheap gas is an American right.

So now the market corrects many of those assumptions with the same level of indifference we’ve long displayed on the subject. And politicians are going to make this process better somehow? Or are they just likely to confuse the issue, as they so often do?

The gas ‘crisis’ won’t be solved by politicians,” Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, May 5, 2006

Posted in: Economics

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