In the alternate universe of American politics, Republicans are shouldering much of the blame for the current cost of gasoline, which has quickly become one of the most talked about issues in this election . Despite the facts surrounding the eco-liberal attacks on new drilling, new refineries, and nuclear power, somehow the Democrats have managed to paint $4.00 gas as being a product of Republican greed and conservatives being in the pockets of "Big Oil". And as ludicrous as this is, voters are largely buying it.
(for another story on this topic see Politico's Record gas prices could hurt McCain)
While Republicans have been quick to jump on Obama's statement of a couple of days ago when he said that he would have preferred that gas prices increased slowly (this follows the thinking behind many liberals' suggestions that we should gradually increase gas taxes to $3 a gallon in order to conserve fuel). Republican solutions have been much harder to find. They rightfully blocked the windfall tax bill that would have merely added taxes to the oil industry and served to raise prices, but they have yet to address the real issues of adding to supply and improving the strength of the dollar.
When you look at McCain's campaign website, it is quick to point out that "Americans need relief right now from high gas prices. John McCain will act immediately to reduce the pain of high gas prices." This comes from under the "Economy" heading in the "Issues" section. At this time there is no "Energy" section.
Looking on down the page, we seem to get his plan: A summer tax holiday, temporarily ending the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and ending the subsidies on ethanol. Looking at these individually we see that the first one, the tax holiday, will only serve to increase demand and raise the price of oil. The second one, SPR, is a one-time minor, very minor, fix. And ending the subsidies on ethanol, while probably the right thing to do, certainly will not encourage the E85 producers and buyers, thus raising demand for oil again.
A much more effective, and electable, plan would be to have short-term and long-term goals. Obviously, the long-term goals would be to build more nuclear plants, transition to hydrogen, etc. Short-term goals would be to expedite the building of new refineries and to support drilling more oil.
And think upon this: I received an email from the American Solutions folks this morning saying that they have already passed the 650,000 signatures mark on their program, Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. And it's growing rapidly. This is so important for two reasons: First, it is something Americans desperately want and need, and, second, it is something that Barack Obama can't support without destroying his base.
This is a win-win situation for conservatives. We get to do something real to address the price of oil and to keep Obama out of the White House.
Then go here to contact the John McCain campaign and let them know you are a voter who supports the Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. campaign.