here’s the thing that irritates me the most about every presidential campaign, debate, or discussion of energy policy.
Every time, without fail, someone, whether it be an person at a town hall, a reporter, or a politician will ask why the president (no matter what said president’s party) hasn’t done more to bring down gas prices. It is irritating because very rarely is this simple, basic concept introduced afterward:
CRUDE OIL, WHICH IS NEEDED FOR GASOLINE, IS TRADED ON A GLOBAL MARKET. YOU HEAR ABOUT THE GLOBAL PRICE FOR A BARREL OF OIL EVERY WEEK ON BUSINESS REPORTS AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR GAS PRICES HERE — AND THEN DOUBLY SO WHEN WINTER ROLLS AROUND AND PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT HEATING COSTS. SINCE THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO NEED OIL-BASED ENERGY, PARTICULARLY IN QUICKLY-GROWING SECTORS OF ASIA AND EUROPE, ANY OIL DRILLING OR DEVELOPMENT DONE ON U.S. FEDERAL LANDS WOULD MOST LIKELY BE SENT TO AND TRADED ON THIS GLOBAL MARKETPLACE, PARTICULARLY BECAUSE MANY OF THE OIL COMPANIES DRILLING IN THE U.S. ARE GLOBAL COMPANIES. SINCE THE DEMAND FOR A FINITE RESOURCE IS NOT GOING DOWN ANY TIME SOON, IT STANDS TO REASON THAT WE WILL PROBABLY NOT SEE AVERAGE PRICES AT THE PUMP GO UNDER $2.50 AGAIN. THIS IS WHY WE TALK SO MUCH ABOUT HYBRIDS AND CARS THAT COULD GET HIGH 30S-40+ MPG, AND THIS IS WHY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS DEMANDING AUTOMAKERS DOUBLE FUEL ECONOMY BY 2026 (or some year close to that): BECAUSE THERE AIN’T A THING AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT CAN DO TO REDUCE THE DEMAND FOR OIL-BASED ENERGY IN THE REST OF THE WORLD. HIGH GAS PRICE SUCK, I GET THAT, BUT TRY FILLING UP IN EUROPE SOMETIME. YEESH. INSTEAD OF ASKING HOW WE LOWER GAS PRICES (which we can’t, not really), IT’S BETTER TO ASK ABOUT DIFFERENT FORMS OF MASS TRANSIT AND CREATING THE NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES THAT RUN ON LESS GASOLINE OR NONE AT ALL.
I feel like the caps lock is important here because the general concept of believing American presidents and their energy policy can actually have major control over a global market annoys me to no end.