You’re Welcome, America; Kentucky’s Ed Whitfield leads battle to mislead the country on gas prices

The Republican House controlled Energy Committee held show-hearings on tar sands and, led by Kentucky’s own Ed Whitfield, endorsed the idea of tar sands extraction:

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“Canadian regulators seek to make energy production safe, while the Obama administration’s regulators often seek to make it impossible,” said Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, the Republican chairman of the subcommittee.

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Whitfield, no expert on Canadian regulations let alone on creating jobs in Kentucky (the Keystone XL Pipeline doesn’t create any jobs for Kentucky), was unbowed in the face of Canadian testimony to the contrary:

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Melina Laboucan-Massimo, an aboriginal Canadian and advocate from Greenpeace, told lawmakers that Canadian governments have shown little respect for environmental laws.

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“In reality Canada and more specifically the province of Alberta have a lax and failing environmental monitoring system with little enforcement for its own laws when it comes to producing the tar sands,” she said.

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Critics of tar sands say its corrosive nature makes it more likely to cause pipeline failures. They also claim it’s more energy-intensive to utilize.

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U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., who led the hearing, praised Canada’s environmental record, however, saying the United States could learn from its neighbors to the north.

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Funny who Ed Whitfield believes we could learn from Canadians on some laws while, in the case of Universal Health Care, he believes the opposite.

As Whitfield leads the Republican Party’s effort to push through an unsafe pipeline plan on the American heartland’s water supply, the President is pushing back, restating what he’s said all along, that the pipeline isn’t a terrible idea if it’s done safely — something the Republican Party has zero interest in:
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Obama is expected to publicly embrace part of the Keystone XL pipeline on Thursday by visiting a TransCanada facility and issuing an executive order on federal permitting of infrastructure projects that “will require agencies to make faster permitting and review decisions for vital infrastructure projects while protecting the health and vitality of local communities and the environment,” the White House said.

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As for the portion of Keystone from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast, the White House said Obama will “issue a specific memorandum in Cushing directing federal agencies to expedite the Cushing Pipeline.”

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The White House has consistently said that Obama rejected the full Canada-to-Texas pipeline in January because Congress cut short the environmental review process and has cited bipartisan opposition to the proposed route through Nebraska.

The Whitfield/GOP line of debate is pushing two things here. They are now tying their incessant Keystone/Big Oil $$$ giveaway — something they’ve been trying to make resonant with voters for about a year — to the more recent issue of increased gas prices. Whitfield and the Republicans have long pushed the dangerous pipeline plan, the President has long pressed for a safer pipeline plan, and now that gas prices are soaring, Kentucky’s own Ed Whitfield is trying to tie the two together:
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With gasoline reaching $3.86 a gallon in the U.S. and apparently heading higher, the public is impatient for Obama — or someone in his place — to do something about it.

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In truth, a president has little direct control over gas prices, which have risen more than 50 cents a gallon since January in response to a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program that has threatened to disrupt Middle East oil supplies.

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Well aware of Republicans’ criticism, Obama’s advisers argue that voters take a sophisticated view toward energy and think about it as a problem demanding long-term answers. They know that talk about future solutions may not satisfy people as they endure high prices, but they’re betting that voters will side with the candidate they trust the most to deal with the issue — and they’re determined that that will be Obama.

While this is yet another example of how the state of Kentucky is controlling the political dialogue of America — a state of 3 million dictating the policies governing 300 million — it is also a further exercise in the Republican Party’s deceitful approach to reality.

Gas prices are now at $3.86… but in the 2008, under George W. Bush — after 8 years of deregulation and expanded, reckless drilling — gas hit a high of $4.27.

The reality is that the President can’t really control the price of oil.

The reality is the Republican Party is lying when they claim domestic production will magically create lower gas prices. They are motivated by their allegiance to the oil industry, which just gets richer and richer. And they are ignoring the facts.

The Associated Press just put out a 36-year study of inflation-adjusted gas prices and it clearly shows that increased domestic drilling does not reduce gas prices:

More U.S. oil production doesn’t mean consistently lower prices at the pump, the analysis found.

Sometimes prices increase as American drilling ramps up. That’s what has happened in the past three years. Since February 2009, U.S. oil production has risen 15 percent when seasonally adjusted. Prices in those three years went from $2.07 per gallon to $3.58.

U.S. oil production is back to the same level it was in March 2003, when gas cost $2.10 per gallon when adjusted for inflation. But that’s not what prices are now. Instead, Americans are paying the highest gas prices ever for March.

That’s because oil is a global commodity and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply. Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.

But don’t mind the facts, America.

Just thank Ed Whitfield and the state of Kentucky for leading you down the path to ruin. Again.


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