Remember a few short years ago, when gas prices hit a high of $3.50 per gallon? The public was outraged, and the outrage was fueled by the media. The press, blogosphere, and Democrats were quick to point the finger of blame at - you guessed it - President Bush. The rise in gas prices was his fault! Bush and his oil buddies wanted to get rich! scam the public! Here is just a small sampling of some of the unbiased reporting:
From Politcususa, April 26, 2008:
“This week, the price of oil and gasoline both hit new record highs – almost $120 for a barrel of oil and more than $3.50 a gallon for gas. These out-of-control prices mean that hundreds of thousands of Americans are driving to work and spending too much of their day just earning back the cost of their commute. The American people deserve to know why this happened,” Lautenberg said.
He blamed the Bush/Cheney energy policy, “When President Bush took office, gas prices were less than half of what they are today – and oil was less than one-third. Then, seven years ago, President Bush and Vice President Cheney secretly invited executives from the big oil and big energy companies to the White House to write our national energy policy. When we finally uncovered the truth, we discovered – to no surprise – that Big Oil helped write a law that guaranteed them billions and billions of dollars in tax giveaways while they set in motion disastrous economic and environmental policies that have served no one but themselves.”
And from a Gallup Poll during the Bush presidency:
The Bush administration and Congress have taken action on energy in recent years, but those steps were largely targeted toward energy usage in the future and did little to address the more immediate concern of high gas prices. Bush himself has said there is no "magic wand" he can wave to cut gas prices. Though Americans may be more aware of the complex reasons for high gas prices, they still hold their elected officials accountable. That may be why the already low approval ratings of Bush and Congress have eroded further in recent months.
From Bloomberg, May 17, 2004:
Americans are paying 30 percent more for regular gasoline than a year ago, an average of a $1.94 a gallon, and a poll by American Research Group May 3-6 showed voters becoming concerned. Oil futures have averaged $28.62 a barrel since Bush took office, 42 percent higher than the average during Clinton's two terms. Oil reached a record $41.38 a barrel on Friday.
..."``With gas prices expected to go over $2 a gallon next month, the White House needs to do more than just pay lip service to a problem that is threatening to exacerbate the weak economy,'' Kerry campaign spokesman Phil Singer said.
From NPR, April 2008:
Here's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Senator HARRY REID (Democrat, Nevada; Senate Majority Leader): Whether we want it or not, there's going to have to be a discussion as to fuel prices, what's going on. That's the number one issue facing America today. It's more important now than the housing market.
WELNA: And here's Reid's Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell.
Senator MITCH McCONNELL (Republican, Kentucky): The number one issue for Americans right now and their greatest concern is the price of gas at the pump.
WELNA: And here's President Bush at a Rose Garden news conference this morning.
President GEORGE W. BUSH: Americans are concerned about energy prices. And I can understand why.
WELNA: The solution Mr. Bush argued was to do what Congress has refused to do throughout his presidency - approve opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, to oil drilling. Doing so, he promised, would allow the U.S. to produce another million barrels of oil a day.
Pres. BUSH: There would be about a 20 percent increase of all crude oil production of the U.S. levels, and it would likely mean lower gas prices, and yet such efforts to explore ANWR have been consistently blocked.
WELNA: Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski picked up the argument in the Senate chamber.
Senator LISA MURKOWSKI (Republican, Alaska): I will be the first one to admit to you that opening ANWR tomorrow will not produce more oil tomorrow. We recognize that, but we do believe that it will dampen the price speculation that is helping to fuel higher prices.
WELNA: President Bush's other proposal to force down gas prices was to build more refineries.
Pres. BUSH: It's been more than 30 years since America built its last new refinery. Yet in this area, too, Congress has repeatedly blocked efforts to expand capacity and build more refineries.
WELNA: The Senate's number two Democrat, Dick Durbin, agreed the problem is with the refineries, but not that there aren't enough of them.
Senator DICK DURBIN (Democrat, Illinois): Today, the refineries in America are operating at 85 percent capacity. Don't buy this agreement that it's about refineries. They have more capacity that they're holding back, so that they can keep their product dear and limited and short, and so that the consumers will ultimately pay more.
WELNA: Democrats are divided over waiving the federal gas tax this summer. Presidential contender Barack Obama says it won't make much difference, while Hillary Clinton - like Republican John McCain - supports the idea. One of Clinton's strongest supporters is New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
Senator CHUCK SCHUMER (Democrat, New York): We believe that there ought to be a gas tax holiday, but Big Oil ought to pay for it. Take some of the money out of the royalties, take some of the money out of the windfall profits, and reduce that gas tax. It's that simple.
WELNA: But it's not that simple for Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn.
Senator JOHN CORNYN (Republican, Texas): It may be fashionable to beat up on Big Oil and say, let's tax the oil companies because they're making too much money. But you know what, if we raise taxes on the oil companies, we all end up paying an increased price of gasoline at the pump.
WELNA: But there was almost no talk today about conservation. Here's as close as President Bush came to the subject.
Pres. BUSH: But the market is going to, you know, do as much for encouraging conservation as anything else is now. And so, I firmly believe that, you know, if there's a magic wand to wave, I'd be waving it, of course.
OH MY GOODNESS. And just HOW is the press holding Obama accountable? Or blaming The One for ANY increase of prices at the gas pump? Well, they aren't. And Barry O. isn't admitting any role in the increased gas costs, of course.
From the Washington Examiner, April 22, 2011:
In 2007, when the average national price ranged from $2.17 to $3.22, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., demanded that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Big Oil for "price manipulation." In 2008, presidential candidate Obama urged the Justice Department "to open an investigation into whether energy traders have been engaged in illegal activities that have helped drive up the price of oil and food.
Now, with President Barack Obama in charge, the price of gas is higher than ever, with no end in sight. Just what is the Commander-In-Chief doing? Is HE taking the blame? No, of course not. He is doing what he does best, pointing the finger of blame elsewhere. And the press allows him to do so.
From the Chicago Sun Times, April 21, 2011:
President Barack Obama announced Thursday that the Justice Department is assembling a team to “root out any cases of fraud or manipulation” in oil markets that might be forcing up gasoline prices in the United States.The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.84 on Thursday, about 30 cents higher than a month ago and almost a dollar higher than a year ago. Obama, decrying such levels as yet another hardship “at a time when things were already pretty tough,” said Attorney General Eric Holder was forming the Financial Fraud Enforcement Working Group.
Fraud or manipulation? Are you kidding me? What about the anti-oil drilling policies of the Obama Administration? Or Obama's completely idiotic energy policies?
And of course we get this little blurb, taking blame away from The One for the rising gas prices (was anything like this EVER written in regards to George W. Bush?):
"There’s not much Obama can do to affect the price of gasoline in short term, something he acknowledged in his remarks. Gas prices have risen steadily as a result of tensions in the Middle East and northern Africa and rising demand from China and other emerging economies."
So, there isn't much a president can do to affect the price of gasoline? Did I read that correctly? Then why the huge outcry when gas prices were around $3-plus a gallon when Bush was in the White House? How soon we forget.
Unfortunately for the America people, we are saddled for another year-plus with a President who is quite content to allow gas prices to skyrocket, and a media who is just as happy to ignore any blame or question the policies of the Obama Administration that does nothing to allow our country to become less dependent upon other countries for an oil source. (Why, it's probably still Bush and Cheney's fault!) as well as the American people who love to drive cars rather than jump on the mass transit bandwagon!
Aside from a dislike of oil, oil companies, the auto industry, and saving the American taxpayer any money in the process, what IS President Obama's energy policy? Continue to let oil prices rise? Have gas reach $7 or $8 a gallon? (Obama's own Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested months ago that higher gas prices are a good thing.) Continue to ignore the unrest in the Middle East? Hope people drive less? Let more people lose their jobs - especially those thousands upon thousand who work in the oil and auto industries that Obama and the left so despise?
Just a few years ago, the blame for rising gas costs was aimed directly at President Bush. In just a few short years, the press comes to the conclusion that "there isn't much a president can do to affect the price of gasoline."
If this is indeed true, the media owes President Bush one big apology. If this is not the case, the American people have every right to demand that President Obama do something - anything - in the best interest of the country. That would be a real "change" we can only "hope" for.