What Congress Can Do About Soaring Gas Prices

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, May 6, 2006.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Great advice from libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.

    What Congress Can Do About Soaring Gas Prices

    by Ron Paul

    Before the U.S. House of Representatives, May 2, 2006

    Gasoline prices are soaring and the people are screaming. And they want something done about it – now!

    $100 rebate checks to American motorists won’t cut it, nor will mandatory mileage requirements for new vehicles. Taxing oil profits will only force prices higher. But there are some very important things we can do immediately to help.

    First: We must reassess our foreign policy and announce some changes. One of the reasons we went into Iraq was to secure “our” oil. Before the Iraq war oil was less than $30 per barrel; today it is over $70. The sooner we get out of Iraq and allow the Iraqis to solve their own problems the better. Since 2002 oil production in Iraq has dropped 50%. Pipeline sabotage and fires are routine; we have been unable to prevent them. Soaring gasoline prices are a giant unintended consequence of our invasion, pure and simple.

    Second: We must end our obsession for a military confrontation with Iran. Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, and according to our own CIA is not on the verge of obtaining one for years. Iran is not in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and has a guaranteed right to enrich uranium for energy – in spite of the incessant government and media propaganda to the contrary. Iran has never been sanctioned by the UN Security Council. Yet the drumbeat grows louder for attacking certain sites in Iran, either by conventional or even nuclear means. Repeated resolutions by Congress stir up unnecessary animosity toward Iran, and create even more concern about future oil supplies from the Middle East. We must quickly announce we do not seek war with Iran, remove the economic sanctions against her, and accept her offer to negotiate a diplomatic solution to the impasse. An attack on Iran, coupled with our continued presence in Iraq, could hike gas prices to $5 or $6 per gallon here at home. By contrast, a sensible approach toward Iran could quickly lower oil prices by $20 per barrel.

    Third: We must remember that prices of all things go up because of inflation. Inflation by definition is an increase in the money supply. The money supply is controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank, and responds to the deficits Congress creates. When deficits are excessive, as they are today, the Fed creates new dollars out of thin air to buy Treasury bills and keep interest rates artificially low. But when new money is created out of nothing, the money already in circulation loses value. Once this is recognized, prices rise-- some more rapidly than others. That’s what we see today with the cost of energy.

    Exploding deficits, due to runaway entitlement spending and the cost of dangerous militarism, create pressure for the Fed to inflate the money supply. This contributes greatly to the higher prices we all claim to oppose.

    If we want to do something about gas prices, we should demand and vote for greatly reduced welfare and military spending, a balanced budget, and fewer regulations that interfere with the market development of alternative fuels. We also should demand a return to a sound commodity monetary system.

    All subsidies and special benefits to energy companies should be ended. And in the meantime let’s eliminate federal gas taxes at the pump.

    Oil prices are at a level where consumers reduce consumption voluntarily. The market will work if we let it. But as great as the market economy is, it cannot overcome a foreign policy that is destined to disrupt oil supplies and threaten the world with an expanded and dangerous conflict in the Middle East.


    - LINK
     
  2. Ben W

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    Mandatory Mileage Requirements are an interesting idea, I am just not sure how it could be set up to work across such a wide variety of types of vehicles.

    I think though that maybe Ford are onto something that could become mandatory and that is vehicles that can use several types of fuel. Current Ford vehicles are being developed to run on several grades of petrol all the way up to E85 ethanol.

    I think that one way a nation can excersize control over its petrol prices is to be self sufficient in fuel without relying on imports. Hence with your oil supply, combined with your ethanol supply, you stand a good chance of being able to remove yourself as a purchaser from the global oil market, and take a role as a supplier to it!
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Congress can't fix the problem of high gas prices, but it can help in a number of ways.
    1. Eliminate all the special formulations.
    2. Open the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge for drilling
    3. Erase the barriers to off-shore drilling.
    4. Get rid of the bureaucratic red tape that has made it almost economically unfeasible to construct new refineries.
    5. Do not under any circumstances attempt to force an artificial fix.
    6. Quit demagoguing against the oil companies. They don't control the prices.
    7. Do not impose a windfall profits tax. Doesn't anybody realize that companies won't pay the tax? It'll be added to the price of gasoline.

    When will politicans learn that the law of supply and demand determines prices? You can tinker with the market system, but as a general rule, tinkering only makes matters worse. And attacking Big Oil is political pandering at its worst.
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    And by the way, gas prices are not soaring now. In fact, they're going down today. Maybe not tomorrow, but today they are.
     
  5. Rippon

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    Use vegetable oil .
     
  6. billwald

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    More drilling will not help. Any new oil will not be sold cheaper than market price.
     
  7. KenH

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    More oil supply will either help to lower the price of oil products or keep a lid on their prices if demand continues to expand.
     
  8. billwald

    billwald
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    Did the price drop when oil started through the Alaska pipe line? They been telling us we pay more in the Pacific Northwest BECAUSE we are burning Alaska crude.
     
  9. KenH

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    Without the Alaskan production the price of oil would be higher than it is.
     
  10. SpiritualMadMan

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    Even if prices don't go down...

    If any *one* of our foreign sources decides to 'disicpline' us...

    Without additional propduction we would be crippled... You wouldn't like it...


    Also, Ron Paul may think he has knowledge of how close Iran may or may not be to having a Nuke themseleves...

    But, the Israeli's do know and they are very concerned...

    The UN is taking it seriously...

    They don't have to have a Nuclear weapon to export it for terrorism...

    Just place a quanity of highly enriched millings on some C-4 and blow it up as a dirty bomb...

    Even if it isn't radioactive enough to kill from Radiation effects the material is poisonous in it's own right without the Radiation...

    SMM
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    You covered most of it Tom

    The only thing I can think of that you did not mention is easing environmental restrictions. That would certainly help but I don't see it happening. You know crude oil comes out of the ground, but if you spill some on that same ground all of a sudden it is an environmental incident. The best cleanup plan for all oil spills including those in water is to leave it alone.

    Don't tax the oil companies profits! That will definitly make it worse. If anything the governement should be giving them tax dollars to develope new oil fields, refineries, and alternative energy sources. The good news is that because they have record profits they will invest in these things (unless we try to take the money away). As the supply goes up, the price will go down.
     
  12. rbell

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    Wrong. Supply and demand. Economics 101.
     
  13. KenH

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    That's right as Iran has not violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran cannot develop a nuclear weapon unless it violates the NPT.

    The neocons and their fellow travelers in the U.S. and Israel and elsewhere can beat the drums for war but I hope that the millions of us who were deceived by the neocons and their fellow travelers about the supposed WMDs in Iraq in 2003 will not allow the Bush administration to destroy the U.S. and world economy by going to war with Iran when Iran hasn't done anything to go to war over.
     
  14. SpiritualMadMan

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    But, if we wait until they are know to have actually violated the NPT...

    The method of discovery may well be a mushroom cloud over an American or Israeli city...

    Notwithstanding the concerns (above)...

    The intelligence had better be leagues better and made public as soon as any attack starts...

    Not years later...

    *IF* we have a need to attack Iran, then that information needs to be released at the same time the attack commences...

    (To release prior to attack would be a bit 'dumb'...)

    SMM
     
  15. Eliyahu

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    Exploitation Tax should be levied unto the firms which exploit the multi-million consumers by using the chance of difficult times. 95% of the profit exploited from the consumers should be taxed unto the firms.

    Any individual who made the decision for the prices to exploit the consumers should be put behind the bars over 35 years.

    Then no gas firms will try to rip off the consumers by using the power of monopoly or oligopoly at the time of any crisis.

    Aren't we clear?
     
  16. carpro

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    What Congress Can Do About Soaring Gas Prices ?

    Nothing at all that will have an immediate impact.

    Overnight reversal of 30 years of discouraging and outlawing exploration, the building of refineries, and the building of nuclear power plants is not possible.
     
  17. KenH

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    I assume that you think that we are doing so currently. Can you offer some proof, Eliyahu?
     
  18. Eliyahu

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  19. Eliyahu

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  20. KenH

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    The compensation of Mr. Raymond is a matter for the shareholders of Exxon Mobil through its Board of Directors to handle.

    It may be bad public relations and some folks may not like it but it is not unethical.
     

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