Congressional Oil Impotence

Gas prices are rising and the usual cry has arisen from Congress that something must be done. As Mr. Gessing pointed out, our own Rep. Wilson is sponsoring this very piece of legislation.
What, exactly, can Congress do about such apparent price gouging? One thing they can’t do is lower the price of oil per barrel; OPEC regulates that. Mandating a set profit margin or lower prices can only destroy profits and drive oil companies out of business. That certainly won’t drive prices down.
OPEC only supplies 40% of the world’s oil, yet they possess 75% of the world’s reserves. They show no signs of increasing their production in order to drive down prices. If they refuse to deal with this situation (since Congress can’t mandate them), then another solution must be found. Congress could consider the perennial topic of opening up our own massive untapped oil fields. From ANWR to the massive shale oil supplies in the West, Congress could do much to loosen what the President labels our addiction on foreign oil. In the interim, price gouging legislation is the first step towards eventually higher prices and increased dependence on the whims of OPEC.

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