Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mark Udall Obstructing Reasonable Solutions to Skyrocketing Gas Prices

Gas prices in the Denver area are hitting new records again. Meanwhile, syndicated columnist William Hamilton, in mountain Granby's Sky-Hi News, lays out our nation's current energy problems and where our policies have gone wrong:
In December 2007, Congress adopted the Rep. Mark Udall Amendment to prohibit oil-shale development. As recently as May 15, the Senate rejected Sen. Wayne Allard’s attempt to overturn the Udall Moratorium. Obviously, Congress still doesn’t get it.

Meanwhile, the Law of Unintended Consequences remains in effect. Attempts to legislate against brand-name Big Oil will negatively impact the no-name Little Oil companies that develop 90-percent of our domestic oil and gas wells. Little Oil produces 68-percent of our domestic oil and 82-percent of our natural gas. Oil wells cost between $1.5 million to $3.5 million to drill. Most of the time, no recoverable oil is found.

Because corporations do not pay taxes (the consumer does), mandating an excess profits tax on our domestic oil corporations just means we pay more at the pump — albeit a highly efficient way for Uncle Sam to take in more cash.

If Congress wants to be constructive, it could rid us of the oil futures speculators. That would have an immediate downward impact on gasoline and diesel prices.
But the long-term solution to our energy needs rests on the fundamentals of: increasing supply, reducing demand and on a fundamental belief that American ingenuity will, someday, invent a fossil-fuel alternative. [emphasis added]
Hamilton correctly identifies Mark Udall as a leading force obstructing our nation's efforts at reasonable energy independence. While it's a major factor, it's more than just because the oil-shale exploration moratorium bears his name.

Mark Udall also is actively trying to "punish the innocent" in his confused populist crusade to raise windfall profits taxes, sure to hurt consumers.

A watcher concisely explains how Mark Udall's green ideology could well push him out of favor with independent voters:
The ugly truth is that four dollar a gallon gas, going to seven dollar gas is a deal breaker. Mark Udall's politics are too idealistic. He wants the public to go from an economy of plenty to an economy of poverty. That might be possible over a long period of time. It is not possible over a small number of years.
Sensible people like Hamilton place a premium on "American ingenuity" to develop affordable and usable alternative energy, but also recognize it takes time and that government fiat will only make getting there harder.Unlike Mark Udall, Hamilton understands basic natural market forces and the need to increase oil supplies as part of the intermediate solution.

Hamilton says that "Congress doesn't get it." But I think he's being too generous - at least in the case of Mark Udall. Udall and Nancy Pelosi are glad to see gas prices skyrocket at consumers' expense to muscle through a costly, restrictive, and economically harmful green agenda. Seven bucks a gallon, anyone?

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