April 25, 2006

must be an election year!

I just read that Bush has relaxed regulations so refineries can produce more gasoline without those pesky environmental concerns. All of you with 8 MPG SUVs can once again return to the pump this summer. In the same announcement, he said that no oil would be set aside for the national petroleum reserves for the next several months. Immediately after Bush's announcement, oil prices dropped.

Normally, gas prices rise dramatically after the July 4th weekend and then fall again in winter. Also, incumbents fare less well when gas prices are extra high. The Republicans know these things, of course, and they are desperate to ease the pressure for this November's elections.

Bush managed to do several things in one fell swoop:

  1. screw the environment
  2. help the oil companies, who just happen to be making record quarterly profits
  3. feed America's "oil addiction," which just days ago he touted as a primary national concern
  4. keep our oil reserves low, which will be terrible in the case of another major disaster
  5. perpetuate our dependence on foreign oil, hurting our national security in the long run
The ONLY reason for making these decisions is to keep gasoline prices close to their current levels for a short time, perhaps, say, oh, maybe... through October?

My 1994 Toyota 4Runner, an SUV, gets about 16 MPG. While I would love to get a hybrid instead, my conscience is clear because I drive it only about 35 miles a week, or a full tank roughly every other month. I just got rid of my gas-powered lawn mower and got a leg-powered "reel" mower. I am doing my part to reduce America's "oil addiction," and I plan to figure out even more ways to be more efficient with our driving.

Bush, however, is rewarding rich, suburban republicans driving their Suburbans and Tahoes and Hummers with their fading yellow magnets that say, "Support Our Troops" and in the process screwing the environment, our children, our troops, the working poor, and our nation's long term economic health. When you are in debt, economic health is not created by raising your credit limit. Economic health is created by fiscal responsibility. Bush prefers raising the credit limit and toxifying the environment.

It really makes me physically ill to think of the arrogance, the sense of entitlement, the utter denial that most people have about their gasoline usage. How often do I hear someone say, "But I NEED the Tahoe/Suburban/Hummer... nothing else is big enough for three kids." Funny. When I was growing up, my dad and his three kids got around just fine in a small sedan.

Anyway, back to the point: I hate paying high gas prices, but the blatant disregard Bush shows for the environment, disaster preparedness, and national security is galling. All for a few pennies per gallon at the pump, which may or may not buy Republicans a few percentage points in November's election.



Jane D. said...

i don't think bush is nearly as worried about the republican vote as he is the middle of the road dems who are driving around their big fat suvees. that aside - i think if you can afford to buy a big fat suvee you, what would the trouble be with $3 a gallon?

Unknown said...

I don't mind expensive gas (it's a lot more expensive in Europe, mostly because of taxes to support mass transit and infrastructure), but what bugs me is having the oil companies make record profits and still get breaks, and political manipulations like this that are nothing more than shallow attempts to win votes, not to actually improve anything.

And did anyone else think Bush had an accident with a fork when they first saw the headline "Bush Skewers Self at Correspondent's Dinner"? :-)