Now comes the esteemed New York Times with an editorial yesterday on gas prices entitled, “Roller Coaster at the Pump.” We think the correct word to describe this piece is, “meandering”. It begins by raising — and then only half-heartedly dismissing — the drop in gas prices as an election ploy. The Times ought not even raise such an idiotic point. Oil prices are driven by supply and demand and the big players here are governments, not US companies. Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria — they all crank out their share of 85 million barrels a day of world output. If someone can work a great price conspiracy among all these players to ease the election prospects for the GOP, they might well be worthy of world domination. Dr. Evil, maybe? The Times concludes by calling for a stable market by “cut[ting] back consumption and…greater efficiency and alternative fuels.”
Of course, as we’ve said exhaustively in this space, we support all the above. Nothing like high prices — of all fuels — to spur efficiency. Manufacturers are the leaders in efficiency, and we’re inventing all the alternatives, too. (The Times better check its liberal street cred, however, in that the left is now beginning to agitate against alternatives.)
In the Business section of yesterday’s Times is an article by Daniel Gross agitating for higher gas taxes of all things, noting almost wistfully that the UK gas tax per gallon is ten times that of the US. Is this something we should wish for? It is amazing that the Times continues to see this issue in one dimension. Nowhere do they mention opening up new supplies. Apparently they think we can conserve and tax our way out of the current situation.
Maybe the Times should bone up instead on the basics of supply and demand.
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