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Dash of Pepper

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Can we talk ourselves into a recession?
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
Hot air from Congress as usual
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
If there's such a thing as global warming, the hot air coming out of Congress could cause it to spike.
Every time there is a crisis, it's a time-honored tradition for Congress to find a scapegoat, usually hapless corporate executives. Last month, the topic was the price of gasoline and the oil execs were put on the hot seat.
Congress seems to think that the oil men have conspired to hike prices. Actually, our oil companies have little control of the cost per barrel of oil - the OPEC cartel plays a large role in that. Congress' solution? Let's sue OPEC! I'm sure the sheiks of the Middle East are shivering in their shoes.
My favorite columnist, Mark Steyn, suggests we sue Congress. I'd say amen to that on the ground of dereliction of duty. One congresswoman said that we can't drill our way out of this mess. But its not a zero sum game. At least three times over the past 25 years, Congress has outlawed drilling - onshore, offshore, and in Alaska. If we had drilled our own supplies years ago, the problem would have been greatly alleviated.
Additionally, technology allows us now to pull oil from the ground and to refine it with little damage, if any, to the environment. But the Green lobbies have Congress firmly in their grasp.
This does NOT exclude a search for alternate sources. No one really opposes making a greater investment in developing alternative sources - new fuels, new methods, new kinds of vehicles. But that won't happen overnight and windmills cannot keep an industrialized nation humming.
But does Congress take the needed steps toward producing our own oil? No. They sue OPEC and drag the oil executives over the coals.
One senator said to the head of Chevron that it was not a problem of supply and demand. The oil man told the senator he was right, because his company is not allowed to meet demand by building new refineries and drilling for our sizeable domestic oil resources!
The Congress needs to wake up. This goes beyond economic concerns and raises national security concerns. The dependency on foreign oil, especially from some countries who are not our friends on the world stage, has to stop.
But Congress will likely continue to grand stand, hauling in the oil men, or the bankers or the Wall Street guys any time a new crisis is perceived.
I wish, once, just once, one of these executives would stand up and say, "Senators, I have answered your questions as best I can. I have a company to run, so I'll go now since I know you probably have a press conference to attend."
Copyright©2008SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 14:43  

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