Calling the oil issue a matter of national security, President George Bush outlined a plan Tuesday to cut gasoline costs and temporarily stopped deposits to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“So by deferring deposits until the fall, we’ll leave a little more oil on the market,” Bush said during a speech in Washington at the Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group for the ethanol industry. “Every little bit helps.”
“Our addiction to oil is a matter of national security concern,” Bush said.
In the Democratic response to Bush’s Rose Garden news conference, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York accused Bush of failing to get tough on powerful oil companies. Schumer said Bush “has closed his eyes and put his hands over his ears as these crises have grown.
He said the economy is in its current state because President ignored repeated warnings.
“Now all of a sudden he’s realizing the problems,” Schumer said, later adding, “He has lost control of what is going on in the American economy and lost the faith of the American people.”
Schumer also said Bush is “plain wrong” about how to address the situation. In particular, he said, opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration will do nothing to alleviate high gasoline prices, noting it will take 10 years before new oil could be produced and then it would reduce the price of gas by only a penny a gallon. (President Clinton said much the same when he vetoed legislation that would have permitted drilling in ANWR’s coastal plain fourteen years ago! Had the bill been signed then, we’d have started producing oil from that area already!)
Schumer said the president cannot be both a friend to Big Oil and back lower prices and accused Bush of failing to get tough on powerful oil companies.
“The president today just spoke about high gas prices. And to listen to the president, you’d think that it’s the local gas station that’s the problem,” Schumer said. “We all know it’s the big oil companies who are causing these massive price increases that go way beyond what supply and demand would merit.”
Schumer said the president cannot be both a friend to Big Oil and back lower prices.
In my April 8th article in this blog entitled “We The People,” I wrote, “…our elected officials work harder to gain more personal power and to undermine their political opposition than they do to solve America’s problems.” Senator Schumer has shown exactly what I was referring to. I’ve searched (without any success) to find anything in the Senator’s comments suggesting an alternative that would make additional energy available to the American consumer. It’s sad, but it is a common practice in Washington today. You can be a successful elected official for many years without producing anything good for our county. All you need to do, is to be critical of everyone else’s ideas.
Senator Schumer should be ashamed of himself.