Friday, April 28, 2006
Washington politics has come to a standstill as politicians fall over each other in trying to appease voters by expressing outrage over rising gasoline prices. Republicans are considering a $100 rebate to citizens, while Democrats call for a windfall tax on oil companies.
Forgive me if I don't join in the frenzy. Why weren't there calls for rebates to citizens when the price of an affordable apartment doubled over the past five years? Why not take the money and spend it on public transportation? If taxing ExxonMobil would be a solution, what will we do a decade from now when gas is $7 a gallon? (With gasoline up to $7 a gallon in Britain, more people are taking the bus.)
My guess is that the political pressure will force the largest oil companies to rush some more supply to the market to temporarily push away the hounds, but that this will have no long-term effect on the inevitable supply and demand pressures behind higher prices.
Get used to it, Americans, gasoline prices are going up, and we're going to have to deal with it. It is not the end of the world, but it may be end of decades of treating oil as if it were tap water.