Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boehner & Co. Best Be Focusin' On Energy...

Is the insanely stupid, idealogically driven drilling moratorium starting to bite? Last week was a bad week for gas prices, up 2.1% nationally, just under a third of the total rise from a year ago. Who knows where to lay the blame, Ben Bernanke sure isn't helping, but my feeling is that both Obama's moratorium and Bernanke's QE2 are starting to bite. It's a wonder gas prices have only increased this much, which tells me that more is coming, as we've discussed - no secret here. Cold weather could bite too as heating oil stocks appear to be inadequate.

While much of this is out of his control, Obama has baked himself a turd pie with what portion is within his control. Republicans ought to be careful too, when energy costs start to bite, people are just going to get angrier. News that the deficit commission is thinking about a new gas tax is a huge political backfire for the political class of all stripes. If I were John Boehner, I'd be doing anything I could to get energy flowing again - removing regulatory hurdles, gumming up anything that Obama's EPA wants to do, even going so far as to propose reduced taxes anywhere possible on the chain from drill bit to gas pump. The new Republican house majority shouldn't want to be caught on the wrong side of rising consumer energy prices, so better get some ideas flowing and votes teed up PDQ. Inaction will be quite costly.


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