Yesterday, for the first time since September 2008, the price of a barrel of crude oil topped $100 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But while the recent unrest in the Middle East has had some marginal effect on rising prices, the most significant factor has been increased oil demand worldwide. That is why, long before the recent protests even began, analysts were predicting $4 a gallon by this summer and $5 a gallon by 2012. Anyone could have predicted that the recovering world economy, coupled with the continued growth of India and China, was going to push oil prices higher. So if an Administration wanted to keep gas prices down, they could have mitigated increased oil demand by increasing domestic oil production. But that is not what the Obama Administration has done. Instead of increasing domestic oil supplies, the Obama Administration has cut them at every opportunity, and Americans are now suffering because of those choices.
Back in February, when the protests in Egypt were first unfolding, Energy Secretary Steven Chu was asked what the Administration could do to combat rising world oil prices. Chu responded: “The best way America can protect itself against these incidents is to decrease our dependency on foreign oil, in fact to diversify our supply.” It is now one month later and the Administration has not updated its talking points. Pressed on gas prices yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “We are also, as you have seen over the past two-plus years, very focused on the need precisely to develop other energy sources so that we are not as dependent on foreign oil as we have been in the past.” So what are these “other energy sources” the White House has been developing? How does the White House plan to “diversify supply” to reduce gas prices? The answers are corn, wind, sun, and electric cars. And they won’t help a bit.Continue reading on blog.heritage.org