Monosyllabic Pedantry

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Want Lower Gas Prices Now?

The left has been fighting the idea of domestic drilling with the argument that it will not give immediate relief to high gas prices. While it's true that the oil wouldn't hit the market immediately, that's not a reason not to do it.

If the country had ignored them when the tree huggers were saying that in the 80's, we'd have it now. Besides, it's not like the internal combustion engine is going to disappear anytime soon. But there are other reasons.

When Bush retracted the ban on offshore drilling, gas prices dropped a nickel. This is because of oil speculators. If the US began domestic drilling, the market would respond in two ways. First, the speculators, as before. Second, the market would respond to the fact that we are seeking other sources. We would have leverage in the market. Opec has shown in the past that, when we pursue other sources for energy, they suddenly decide to pump more oil and prices drop. The want to keep us on the teat.

But there is a more direct way to drop prices. Eliminate the tariff on imported ethanol. Currently, there is a 54 cents/gallon tariff on ethanol imported from places like Brazil. We could drop the price of gas overnight.

Why don't we do it? Blame your local corn farmer. Even though it is not feasible to make ethanol from corn, the farmers have got enough Midwestern congressmen in their pockets that there will not be a change that effectively puts those farmers out of the ethanol subsidy business.

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