Catalina Island, which lies 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, now has gas prices averaging over $7 a gallon. People there aren’t panicking, since most of the natives and the one million visitors annually either walk or use electric golf carts. Coincidentally, this is the Obama administration’s dream scenario: raise gas prices until we are all forced to walk or use electric golf carts. As Steven Chu, Obama’s Energy Secretary, famously put it in Christmas of 2008, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
Mr. Chu may be getting his wish: gas in France averages $7.80 a gallon. Chu recently told a House hearing that he would give himself a little higher than an A-minus on fuel prices. Of course, he was only echoing the wishes of his boss; as a candidate in 2007, Obama said “I think it is important for us to send some price signals, to change behavior.”
While Americans suffer at the pump, Obama intones, “We can’t simply drill our way out of the problem.” But that simply isn’t true.
According to Energy Tomorrow:
The United States has enough oil and natural gas resources to power 65 million cars for 60 years and heat 60 million households for 160 years. In fact, with increased access and U.S. State Department approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, 100 percent of America’s liquid fuel needs could be met by the United States and Canada. And that figure only accounts for areas where the industry has been able to fully explore. There could be even more oil and natural gas reserves in areas where the government has restricted access. For example, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana has 4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil–25 times the original estimate in 1995. In the Gulf of Mexico, technological advances have increased government estimates from 9 billion barrels of oil in 1987, to 45 billion barrels in 2006 …. more access could create 1.4 million jobs, generate $765 billion in government revenue and provide an additional 10.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) by 2030.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently lambasted the Obama Administration. “It has canceled dozens of drilling leases, it’s declared a moratorium on drilling off the Gulf Coast, it’s increased permit fees, it has prolonged public comment periods … In short, it’s done just about everything it can to keep our own energy sector from growing.”
Certainly that’s the impact that Obama’s gas policies have created in places like Catalina. Unfortunately, no Catalina is an island, and the rest of America feels those policies at the pump every single day.