Today, people are blaming the oil companies for high gas prices. Unfortunately, the people should be blaming the creator of this situation: the federal government.
In 1850, wood was our most commonly used fuel. Today, we still have plenty of wood because our free market system replaced it with a better fuel: coal. And we still have an abundance of coal because oil has replaced it. Our marvelous free market system was working very well without government interference.
Now oil would normally take a secondary role to nuclear energy in our fuel cycle evolution. However, massive government interference in our free market system has stifled production of nuclear energy and oil.
We are awash in oil, but Congress refuses to allow drilling in the huge tracts offshore and in Alaska. We also need more oil refineries. None have been built in the last 35 years because of government regulations. New nuclear power plants also have been stopped by regulations.
Congress is prohibited from regulating our energy sources by our Constitution. But, Congress does it anyway because our voters are not paying attention to the unconstitutional laws being passed.
This is an election year, so Congress is more willing to listen if voters demand that these regulations be removed. Also, voters should know that if the oil industry gave up all profits, the price of gas would only drop about a dime per gallon.
Christopher H. Fogleman
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