Gas tax holiday: McCain, Hillary support it, Obama changes his mind (Video added)

posted at 8:50 am on April 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

John McCain wants to give consumers a break this summer by suspending the federal gas tax. Hillary Clinton says she supports that plan. Barack Obama, despite having supported a similar tax “holiday” in Illinois, now says he’ll oppose it. Apparently, gas prices haven’t gone high enough, even though they were less than half of today’s price in 2000 when he supported it:

In a new policy split in the presidential campaign, Barack Obama opposed a federal gas-tax holiday supported by John McCain, the likely Republican nominee. Hillary Clinton said she would be open to the tax break.

Sen. Obama, who voted for a temporary gas-tax break when he was a state senator in Illinois, rejected a federal tax holiday as bad fiscal policy. The federal gas tax raises money to repair and expand the highway system.

In Illinois in 2000, Sen. Obama voted for a six-month, five-percentage point break on the state’s 6.25% gas sales tax. The reduction of the tax, which goes into a general revenue fund, passed on a 55-1 vote and included measures designed to ensure that the benefits of the tax break reached consumers. At one point, Sen. Obama jokingly asked on the Senate floor whether it would be possible to install placards on gas-station pumps telling motorists he had helped win temporary price relief.

When some state legislators tried to make the suspension permanent before it expired, Sen. Obama spoke out against that measure but defended his vote for the holiday, according to transcripts posted on the legislature’s Web site.

“I originally voted for the suspension because I thought that it was extraordinary circumstances, given the huge hike in prices,” he said at the time. Gas prices averaged $1.52 a gallon in March 2000.

Hey, if we put up placards at the pump that give Obama the credit, will he vote for it this time? And could he come up with a more foolish explanation of his opposition? Did he and his campaign think that no one would go back and check the 2000 price to see how it compares to 2008?

Actually, a good case could be made for opposition to the gas tax holiday, but it won’t come from Barack Obama. The removal of the tax for three months only temporarily addresses high gas prices, and in the least effective manner. It would give a short modicum of relief but would do nothing to reduce the pressures that drive gas prices higher. Instead of declaring tax “holidays”, Congress took take some or all of the following actions:

  • End state fuel-mixture mandates — Our refineries have to produce upwards of 30 different formulations of gasoline for different states. It makes our supply chain brittle when it should be flexible and leaves us vulnerable to sudden price hikes when refineries have problems.
  • Begin expediting the approval process for more refineries — We have not built a new refinery in the US for 30 years. We keep expanding the capacity at existing refineries instead, and that also leaves the supply chain vulnerable to disruption when a refinery has to shut down. They now have to run at full capacity constantly in order to meet demand and keep prices down. Over the last two decades, we also now have to import more and more refined gasoline instead of crude to keep up with the demand, thanks in part to a lack of refinery capacity here in the US.
  • Allow more domestic drilling — Oil, like any commodity, increases in price when demand goes up and supply doesn’t meet it. With China and India vastly increasing their demand, prices have gone up accordingly. The only way to get the prices down is to either reduce demand or increase supply. That means the US has to start using its own resources rather than living off the resources of others.

Congress has dithered on all of these issues for years, and had Washington taken the appropriate action — say in 2000 or so — we would already have seen the benefits from it. The tax holiday would at least give a little temporary relief, but until someone addresses the root causes of high gas prices, holidays from reality won’t solve them.

Update: It doesn’t add much to the above, but here’s a YouTube mashup that highlights the Obama change of heart:


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With gas prices that high, I think I’m gonna start working on my own invention:

A car that runs on distilled Bio-Feces.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:54 AM

$3.45 in MA and $3.65 in CT. I’m spending more time on my Triumph than in my HHR.

So where is the outrage now that Congress is Dem? Where is the Chuckster demanding oil companies let the prices drop? Where are the hearings? When it was the Republican majority the guy never shut up.

Hening on April 24, 2008 at 8:56 AM

I originally voted for the suspension because I thought that it was extraordinary circumstances, given the huge hike in prices,” he said at the time.

“…before I voted against it,” Kerry Obama added, yesterday.

aunursa on April 24, 2008 at 8:56 AM

They’ve gotta’ catch on one of these days.

…Right?

Jockolantern on April 24, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Suspending taxes doesn’t help the energy crisis…somebody has to step up and put a detailed plan together.
More access to our oil
New refineries
Is a good start…and just to p*ss Kennedy off, windmills in front of his home.

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 9:07 AM

It’s a stupid, stupid idea.

If we want gas to cost less, we should drill for more oil and build some refineries.

I’d be for any politician who had the brass ones to stand up and tell us that we can’t “have it all.”

I’m voting for McCain, but this is a truly dumb idea. Energy perhaps galls me more than any issue in America. Fact is that there’s never going to be any “Manhattan-style project” that’s going to come up with a solution to our dependence on foreign oil.

Politicians both right and left run up that example or Apollo every four years, and they’re both ridiculous on their face. Manhattan and Apollo both had clear goals that weren’t market-driven. Does anyone really believe that the government can figure out what the best alternatives to oil might be in various situations and effectively channel investment better than the market?

It ain’t happening. Any more than Chuckleberry’s ludicrous “idea” that ‘hey, why don’t we offer a billion-dollar prize to the guy who “invents” the 100 mpg car?’

‘Cause we have that, moron, it’s called a patent.

No, the fact is we rely on oil because it’s still cheaper and easier than anything else. The more it costs, the more viable alternatives become and the more investment will flow to them.

Painful, yes. Necessary, yes.

Time to quit kicking this can down the road.

Typhoon on April 24, 2008 at 9:07 AM

A car that runs on distilled Bio-Feces.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Why not urine? You could kill two birds with one stone by relieving yourself directly into the gas tank.

EJDolbow on April 24, 2008 at 9:09 AM

The Democrat/Eco-Marxist cabal wants high gas prices because they believe that we Americans sin by “overconsuming”. HIgh gas prices can be used as a sledgehammer to force us all into smaller cars, smaller homes, onto public transportation, etc. It is a Marxists’ dream!

If the eco-Marxists would get the HELL out of the way the price of oil would drop like a stone because we have plenty of our own oil, enough to be independent of tin pot dictators.

Google “Bakken oil”. The USGS is about to release a survey of an oil field iin North Dakota that may contain up to 500 Billion barrels. The study was sponsored, if youi can believe it, by a Democrat, Byron Dorgan.

DerKrieger on April 24, 2008 at 9:14 AM

This really is political stupidity. Why is no one saying, “DRILL NOW ! BUILD REFINERIES NOW!” They think we are all so stupid that we don’t know what the solution is.

I don’t mind Americans voluntarily conserving. But the govenment has GOT to allow more production.

I’ll be the first to say – GEORGE BUSH DID HAVE 8 YEARS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MESS – HE DID NADA !

Don’t anyone give me the crapola that his bill was shut down by democrats. He had both houses for 6 years. NO EXCUSES!

stenwin77 on April 24, 2008 at 9:14 AM

It’s worth it just to get him to actually record a Senate vote against it. TV ad poison.

Cuffy Meigs on April 24, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Sing it brother Ed! With the exception of you’re first point (one I never even considered) I’ve been singing this tune for years. Taxes on gasoline are outrageous but not nearly as outrageous the fact that we’ve not built a refinery in the country since the Ford Administration. The whole ban on drilling is another matter all together . . . but I’ve already gotten long winded here.

srhoades on April 24, 2008 at 9:16 AM

“In the next 30 days the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) will release a new report giving an accurate resource assessment of the Bakken Oil Formation that covers North Dakota and portions of South Dakota and Montana. With new horizontal drilling technology it is believed that from 175 to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil are held in this 200,000 square mile reserve that was initially discovered in 1951. The USGS did an initial study back in 1999 that estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels were present but with prices bottoming out at $10 a barrel back then the report was dismissed because of the higher cost of horizontal drilling techniques that would be needed, estimated at $20-$40 a barrel.”

DerKrieger on April 24, 2008 at 9:18 AM

The major flaw in your proposal, Cap’n, is that it’s loaded with common sense. You may want to add repeal of the 54 cents/gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol. Anyone remember the riots in Mexico and Central America over tortilla prices? Corn’s for eatin’, congressclowns.

Kid from Brooklyn on April 24, 2008 at 9:18 AM

The politicians in DC don’t care about the price gasoline, they just want to pander to environmentalists.

terryannonline on April 24, 2008 at 9:18 AM

A car that runs on distilled Bio-Feces.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Why not urine? You could kill two birds with one stone by relieving yourself directly into the gas tank.

EJDolbow on April 24, 2008 at 9:09 AM

I thought about it but the problem is:

It is very costly to make high-grade urine.

Concentration and purification usually takes 2 months and about $1000.00 a gallon.

So, I really had no choice but to go with Bio-Feces.

I can send you a canister if you want to try.

And don’t worry, no leaks. It’s well-wrapped in toilet paper. And UPS ships it for half the urine price.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Thanks Ed, you nailed it… I just hope someone else is listening.

Pachyderm on April 24, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Where are the hearings? When it was the Republican majority the guy never shut up.

Hening on April 24, 2008 at 8:56 AM

No more hearings. We need action not more of our elected do nothings getting more face time. Build refineries, stop putting our food in fuel tanks (ethanol, drill and change standards. More tax breaks for alternative energy research.

Wade on April 24, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Excellent video, Ed — that’s what I’m talking about. Poison.

Cuffy Meigs on April 24, 2008 at 9:27 AM

The politicians in DC don’t care about the price gasoline, they just want to pander to environmentalists.

terryannonline on April 24, 2008 at 9:18 AM

They will do nothing that might appear good for Bush.

Wade on April 24, 2008 at 9:28 AM

I should believe the economic analysis of a tax “holiday” from a former Community Organizer?

benrand on April 24, 2008 at 9:29 AM

They will do nothing that might appear good for Bush.

Wade on April 24, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Yeah, maybe it’s just me being mean but part of me thinks the Dem Congress will not act because they now this could be a winning issue in November.

terryannonline on April 24, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Congress talks of bandaids when major surgery is required.

Their meddling has contributed greatly to the problem. They mandated the fuel mixtures and ethanol production fiasco that has driven up the cost of everyday commodities the consumer uses day in and day out. They have prohibited drilling in ANWR or the Gulf because a moose might have to find a new home or a fish could get killed.

If they care so much about a moose or a fish, they should look into becoming a forest ranger or a marine biologist and get their misguided, lazy asses out of congress.

It’s a microcosm of our society today. Go for the quick fix, the easy way out. Solve the problem with a stroke of a pen on a meaningless piece of legislation, that will make the sheeple cheer for their caring congress.

How do we begin to solve this problem? I’ll have to go back to a solution I’ve mentioned before, one that would solve this problem and many other problems we face in America.

Term Limits.

Throw the bums out and get somebody in there who cares more about his country and it’s people, then they do themselves.

fogw on April 24, 2008 at 9:32 AM

In Obama’s neck of the woods, it wasn’t exactly $1.58/gallon back in 2000. Because of the particular brand of RFG Chicago and Milwaukee shared with nobody else, the extended shutdown of one of the two refineries that made that during the switchover between the winter and summer blends, and a then-new mandate in California to switch from MBTE to ethanol, which had previously only been used heavily in Chicago and Milwaukee, it was over $2/gallon.

steveegg on April 24, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Remember the one of the excuses the democr*ps gave for not drilling in the ANWR? That the oil would not be available for 6 years? Well guess what, it IS six years later. I wonder what they have to say now? That even if we start to drill in ANWR right now in 2008, the oil won’t be available until 2014?!?!?

rbb on April 24, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Aren’t these taxes used to keep the roads repaired?

tlynch001 on April 24, 2008 at 9:37 AM

Aren’t these taxes used to keep the roads repaired?

Not in Michigan, they’re used to cover up the incompetence of the idiot governor and keep Detroit happy.

benrand on April 24, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Remember the one of the excuses the democr*ps gave for not drilling in the ANWR? That the oil would not be available for 6 years? Well guess what, it IS six years later. I wonder what they have to say now? That even if we start to drill in ANWR right now in 2008, the oil won’t be available until 2014?!?!?

rbb on April 24, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Reminds me of those bars that hang the sign up that says: “Free Beer Tomorrow”.

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Holiday Gas stations are a memory of my past. Holiday stations carried everything needed in order to go fishing or hunting on a whim.

One day, you are working in the office. Inspiration hits you, “I’d rather be hunting pheasant.”

You stop off at the Holiday station, fill the tank, get something to eat, something to drink, a new shotgun, shells, cleaning kit, game bag, harsh weather gear, and lest you forget, you can “get me a huntin’ license here”.

What was the story about again?

Sensei Ern on April 24, 2008 at 9:45 AM

that also leaves the supply chain vulnerable to disruption when a refinery has to shut down.

Like Iran would grind to a halt with a few well placed bombs… Hopefully terrorists never figure that out here (everyone forget I just said that, and never mention it out loud again!).

Oil, like any commodity, increases in price when demand goes up and supply doesn’t meet it. With China and India vastly increasing their demand, prices have gone up accordingly.

Of course, putting China back to the Stone Age could take care of a lot of that demand thingy…

Frozen Tex on April 24, 2008 at 9:50 AM

This gas tax holiday is exactly the type of cheap demagoguery that I fear from both Hilary and McCain. A usage tax on roads for road repairs makes perfect sense even from the most right-wing of economic perspectives. It’s not true that gnomes emerge at 3am to repair roads for free.

thuja on April 24, 2008 at 9:51 AM

I’m against a gas tax holiday — the money does go for road construction & repair (just end the freaking earmarks).

The federal tax is what, $0.34 in $3.40+ gallon. It really isn’t that much in the scheme of things, what we need is more production and fewer regulations, as per Ed’s post.

If you want lower taxes, reduce the income tax.

rbj on April 24, 2008 at 9:52 AM

Obama is right here to be against the reduction; but for the wrong reasons. He says he’s concerned about adding to the deficit? Please, look at his spending proposals. This is a drop in the gas tank compared to his spending initiatives.

McCain is disappointing here as this is (mostly) pandering.

SteveMG on April 24, 2008 at 9:53 AM

For once Obama is right on the economy.

freevillage on April 24, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Only if state taxes are also removed will this do any good. They are three and four times higher.

But the primary investigation by Congress should be on price gouging.

If I sell a chain saw during a hurricane at too high a price over what I bought it for I can be arrested for profiteering/price gouging.

Oil companies paid perhaps $70-80 a barrel for oil now coming to the pump (because it took that long to ship, refine and transport to the stations), but are charging today’s $120 a barrel prices for it, and raising station prices daily in some areas.

How is this not price goughing/profiteering?

How can they get away with it and a guy selling a generator for a better profit in a disaster zone cannot?

Let Congress close that gouging loophole for them.

profitsbeard on April 24, 2008 at 10:10 AM

At one point, Sen. Obama jokingly asked on the Senate floor whether it would be possible to install placards on gas-station pumps telling motorists he had helped win temporary price relief.

The vote was 55-1 in favor but he wanted his glorious name singled out for credit? Even as a joke this provides a clue about his ego.

And could he come up with a more foolish explanation of his opposition? Did he and his campaign think that no one would go back and check the 2000 price to see how it compares to 2008?

He shoulda voted present.

It’s also noteworthy that Hillary Clinton supports this, but, like Obama, wants to hit oil companies with a windfall profits tax which would only get passed along to consumers. Moreover, how do these politicians (and McCain is on this list) reconcile their support of a carbon tax with their support of cutting gas taxes?

Anyway, even as temporary bandaid, I would welcome a gas tax holiday in addition to the measures that Ed suggests. I’d also like to see the folly of ethanol addressed.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 10:10 AM

It would give a short modicum of relief but would do nothing to reduce the pressures that drive gas prices higher. Instead of declaring tax “holidays”, Congress took take some or all of the following actions:

End state fuel-mixture mandates — Our refineries have to produce upwards of 30 different formulations of gasoline for different states. It makes our supply chain brittle when it should be flexible and leaves us vulnerable to sudden price hikes when refineries have problems.
Begin expediting the approval process for more refineries — We have not built a new refinery in the US for 30 years. We keep expanding the capacity at existing refineries instead, and that also leaves the supply chain vulnerable to disruption when a refinery has to shut down. They now have to run at full capacity constantly in order to meet demand and keep prices down. Over the last two decades, we also now have to import more and more refined gasoline instead of crude to keep up with the demand, thanks in part to a lack of refinery capacity here in the US.
Allow more domestic drilling — Oil, like any commodity, increases in price when demand goes up and supply doesn’t meet it. With China and India vastly increasing their demand, prices have gone up accordingly. The only way to get the prices down is to either reduce demand or increase supply. That means the US has to start using its own resources rather than living off the resources of others.

Why not have the tax holiday for the summer and also do the things you list?

I still think the oil companies are sitting and waiting for the government to build refineries for them. I remember reading a while back that the Sauds are now looking at building refineries here in the US because our own damn oil companies won’t do it for themselves. Creeping socialism hits yet another sector of the economy as executives sit on their hands waiting for the government to take all the risk for them.

The Sauds at least seem to understand that the refinery problem could lead to a situation where “alternative” fuels become as cost efficient as oil based fuels, which would kill the oil business. Too bad our “brilliant” oil executives don’t grasp that same point.

funky chicken on April 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Ed,

Thank you for your first point on the state fuel-mixture mandates. I didn’t know about that, and while I’m not sure it should be completely gotten rid of, it would seem that it surely could be significantly streamlined.

I’ll agree with you on the addition of oil-refineries. Although I’m sure there’s plenty of NIMBY issues.

Same thing with domestic drilling. I don’t think that’s going to happen, save for an extraordinary situation, which hasn’t happened yet, although this stinks paying the high prices.

asc85 on April 24, 2008 at 10:23 AM

asc85 no, the whole idea of boutique gas mixtures should be scrapped. It’s stupid and a real pain in the ass for the entire supply chain, according to a friend who’s a petroleum engineer anyway.

funky chicken on April 24, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Annex Alberta!

Tanya on April 24, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Those screeching about “gas taxes repair the roads” are hopelessly naive. Even if they’re nominally designated to pay for X, all taxes just go into a big pot to be divied up by these a-holes. A tax is a tax is a tax. Cut them and starve the beast.

Cuffy Meigs on April 24, 2008 at 10:56 AM

The issue problem is that there is no alternative to the ICE. And everybody is happy with the status quo.

The oil companies are happy. Car companies to a large degree are happy. The stockholders for these groups of companies are happy. Government is happy; they are getting taxes. Environmentalists are happy. There is no domestic drilling and no new refineries being built.

Isn’t everybody happy?

saved on April 24, 2008 at 11:02 AM

End state fuel-mixture mandates — Our refineries have to produce upwards of 30 different formulations of gasoline for different states. It makes our supply chain brittle when it should be flexible and leaves us vulnerable to sudden price hikes when refineries have problems.

.
A single formulation may not necessarily lower costs. Suppose that formulation encompassed all the requirements of the different states, and I suspect that would be the path the Federal government would take.

News2Use on April 24, 2008 at 11:04 AM

For once Obama is right on the economy.

freevillage on April 24, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Ya. The problem is that he doesn’t know why he’s right though.

thomashton on April 24, 2008 at 11:05 AM

and just to p*ss Kennedy off, windmills in front of his home.

right2bright on April 24, 2008 at 9:07 AM

He’d just take a few million out of his tax-dodging offshore trust accounts and buy himself another luxurious spread somewhere else.

AZCoyote on April 24, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Same thing with domestic drilling. I don’t think that’s going to happen, save for an extraordinary situation, which hasn’t happened yet, although this stinks paying the high prices.

asc85 on April 24, 2008 at 10:23 AM

One huge problem is that McCain was the deciding vote against ANWR (and it is not Bush’s fault that his efforts died in this regard). If McCain hadn’t been such a fool he’d have this issue to rub in Hillary and Obama’s faces right now. I keep hoping he’ll use this dire situation to change his mind, just as he changed his mind on making MLK Day a Federal Holiday.

The one thing I can say in McCain’s favor is that he did oppose the ethanol Ponzi scheme.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 11:13 AM

Oil companies wouldn’t want to build more refineries. The current number supplies America while keeping prices high. If they built more, they’d have to spend money on its construction and operation. Then prices would fall.

Its not in their best interest to build more refineries.

AbaddonsReign on April 24, 2008 at 11:13 AM

I can send you a canister if you want to try.

And don’t worry, no leaks. It’s well-wrapped in toilet paper. And UPS ships it for half the urine price.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Shouldn’t one of the benefits be that each person could generate their own fuel so no shipping or dispensing stations needed?

EJDolbow on April 24, 2008 at 11:17 AM

I like that the commenters finally give Obama credit here rather than focusing on him changing his mind — after all, what he changed his mind to is what you agree with.

As for the post, I know this is not a Prius-loving forum, but I couldn’t help but notice something missing from the bullet points. You talk about supply and demand, and then address only supply. I’m not suggesting that we all “sacrifice” our desires to reduce demand, since that doesn’t make any sense — if we find the price too expensive, we’ll stop paying for it, and that’s that. But if we can find alternatives to oil for getting what we really want (being able to drive our cars), why not do that? So what about funding further research into hybrids and alternative fuels?

tneloms on April 24, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Its not in their best interest to build more refineries.

AbaddonsReign

Truth! I’ve always looked at that “environmentalists and government will not allow us to build refineries” as crap with a coating of crud.

saved on April 24, 2008 at 11:19 AM

The real problem with a Federal gas tax holiday, as opposed the Illinois gas tax holiday is that the Federal gas tax revenue is allocated to certain projects, and those projects have interested backers who make a lot of money to buy a lot of things, including Senators and Congressmen. The Illinois gax tax revenue went into the General Fund, so nobody cared if it was not collected.

This is the problem with dedicated taxes — they have advocates. A undedicated tax has no friends, which is appropriate. No tax should have friends. They should all be seen as necessary evils, at best. But a dedicated tax has all sorts of people who hop on the gravy train, and then will work tirelessly to make sure the train never reaches the station.

gridlock2 on April 24, 2008 at 11:21 AM

GAS TAX HOLIDAY: Litership.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on April 24, 2008 at 11:39 AM

So Ed, if you took that picture is it safe to assume you live in the Midway area of St. Paul? I know that Holiday station very well.

Pcoop on April 24, 2008 at 12:01 PM

How about lifting any tariff’s on imported ethanol, suspending ethanol subsidies, restrictions on drilling (ANWR, Pacific and Atlantic coasts), etc…..

Stop turning food into fuel you morons and making us pay twice.

roux on April 24, 2008 at 12:15 PM

In addition to new refining and new drilling (and more clean-burning coal, and more nuclear power), we really must be working on alternatives.

But this is not an either/or scenario, as it is so often cast by ‘both sides’ – it is a concurrent one – we MUST do ALL of this.

Midas on April 24, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Ed,
The first new refinery just might start being built this year…at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. The Air Force wants to build a nationwide network of facilities that would convert domestic coal into cleaner-burning synthetic fuel.
By offering itself as a partner in the Malmstrom plant, the Air Force hopes to prod Wall Street investors to sink money into similar plants nationwide. They have a high price tag of up to $5 billion apiece.

The Air Force would not finance, construct or operate the coal plant. Instead, it has offered private
developers a 700-acre site on the base and a promise that it would be a ready customer as the government’s largest fuel consumer. Bids on the project are due in May. Construction is expected to take four years once the Air Force selects a developer.

“Because of our size, we can move the market along,” said Air Force Assistant Secretary William Anderson.

“This is a change agent for the entire industry,” said John Baardson, CEO of Baard Energy in Vancouver,
Wash., which is waiting permits on a proposed $5 billion coal-based synthetic fuels plant in Ohio. “There would be a number of plants that would be needed just to support (the Air Force’s) needs alone.”

And the biggest obstacle is…

“We don’t want new sources of energy that are going to make the greenhouse gas problem even worse,”
House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said in a recent interview. “They’d like to have (coal-to-liquids) because of security concerns – a reliable source of power. They’re not
thinking beyond that one issue,” Waxman said. “(Climate change) is also a national security concern.”

Strategy Ed, not a Policy a Strategy, as in a National Energy Strategy for Energy Independence, and the Defense Department is fast becoming the tip of the spear.

BDU-33 on April 24, 2008 at 12:27 PM

I think a gas “tax holiday” is a good idea…but not for the reason usually given.

A gas “tax holiday” would allow Joe Public to see how much of the price is due to tax, and would thus focus attention on the real problem: taxes and other political interference with oil production and refining.

Even a brief tax holiday would dramatically demonstrate that Congress is responsible for more of the price than the oil companies ever were!! Perhaps this could help exert public pressure to reshape our shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot energy policy.

landlines on April 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM

There’s also a refinery being proposed here in Utah, though the environmentals are screaming bloody murder. See, here in central Utah, they ARE drilling–and finding–oil. I’m actually really hoping they find more; we just had a newspaper article confirming a pretty nice strike. In the next couple of months they are going to put in the production wells, and if it’s big enough, they want to build a pipeline.

Will it make a dent? Likely not; but there is action being taken. The mountain west has more oil than the middle east; if the enivronmentals and oil companies would just get out of the way.

Vanceone on April 24, 2008 at 12:44 PM

A gas “tax holiday” would allow Joe Public to see how much of the price is due to tax, and would thus focus attention on the real problem: taxes and other political interference with oil production and refining.

Even a brief tax holiday would dramatically demonstrate that Congress is responsible for more of the price than the oil companies ever were!! Perhaps this could help exert public pressure to reshape our shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot energy policy.

landlines on April 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM

BINGO! How on earth can conservatives be against anything that demonstrates to American citizens how much of our money is confiscated by the government without our ever thinking about it?

funky chicken on April 24, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Its not in their best interest to build more refineries.

AbaddonsReign

Truth! I’ve always looked at that “environmentalists and government will not allow us to build refineries” as crap with a coating of crud.

saved on April 24, 2008 at 11:19 AM

funky chicken on April 24, 2008 at 12:48 PM

It’s not in their short term interests, but it is definitely in their long term interests. If they don’t increase refining capacity to bring down gas prices, they will go the way of the dodo as alternative energy production like the thing at the Air Force base pass them by.

Yeah, they will still have China and India though, so perhaps screwing us in the short term won’t screw them in the long term after all.

funky chicken on April 24, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Once the democrat congress voted the non-energy bill that did little other than state we would not drill anywhere and would take profits from oil companies to subsidize ‘alternative’ energy, prices have gone up 45%.

Does not surprise me that this would happen.

jukin on April 24, 2008 at 12:59 PM

I believe that we now import between 16-18% of our GASOLINE, not oil. Yes the domestic oil companies would love to get that market share back by building new refineries.

jukin on April 24, 2008 at 1:04 PM

but here’s a YouTube mashup that highlights the Obama change of heart waffling:

Entelechy on April 24, 2008 at 1:19 PM

There’s also a refinery being proposed here in Utah, though the environmentals are screaming bloody murder. See, here in central Utah, they ARE drilling–and finding–oil. I’m actually really hoping they find more; we just had a newspaper article confirming a pretty nice strike. In the next couple of months they are going to put in the production wells, and if it’s big enough, they want to build a pipeline.

Will it make a dent? Likely not; but there is action being taken. The mountain west has more oil than the middle east; if the enivronmentals and oil companies would just get out of the way.

Vanceone on April 24, 2008 at 12:44 PM

True! I am a wildlife biologist in Northern Utah and most of my work is in Central Utah. I am currently working on oil and gas seismic exploration, a coal mine expansion, and other energy resouce projects.

thomashton on April 24, 2008 at 1:33 PM

I have read everyone comments and what Ed wrote (minus the video which I can’t see on this computer).

You are all right, too a point. Let me explain….

Federal Taxes won’t bring gasoline prices down that much, even if there was a “Holiday” unless the States decided to go with it too. Each State, county/municipality, city/town etc. also puts a “Tax” on your gasoline. check it out if you do not believe me. If you think you pay high taxes for Gas, blame your State Government as well. And then see what they spend those Gasoline Tax dollars on!

Building Refinaries WILL help, in a couple of years. Building a Refinary, to enviromental code now can take up to 2 yrs because of permitting. Check it out! EPA is not in Every State, it isn’t just a Federal thing. I bet you it isn’t just the Federal EPA who is saying no to Refinaries!

Someone mentioned ANWR. Now 6 yrs really isn’t all that much time. ANWR is absolutely NO WHERE near any pipelines to transfer the oil to Prudhoe Bay and down the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which includes Badami and that is about 50 miles away at minimum. Yep, we could drill there, which would only take a year and a half to set up the Rigs, Housing for the people, the Pads they Rigs have to sit on, bring in a water-distiller and a few other things in the middle of the Arcitc Winter… and after it is drilled… it would still sit there for a couple years. Time to call your Congressmen and women to get off their Butts and do something! BTW, I would love to see them beautiful forests, on the North Slope!

I am not talking out of my butt here. I tell everyone who is interested in my State. People are ignorant to a point… but if you show them and explain to them, most understand and get really upset when they realize what is going on. Even the liberals… believe it or not.

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 1:34 PM

thomashton on April 24, 2008 at 1:33 PM

So what you are trying to say is you are in the way? What type of Biologist are you?

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 1:35 PM

landlines on April 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Precisely. As a conservative, I favor tax cuts/decreases/holidays whenever we can get them. And, if Congress knocks off the federal tax for the summer (about 0.18/gallon, I think) it will increase pressure for states to provide similar relief. What state legislator would want to cast a recorded vote against this? Additionally, when the “holiday” is over, there will be pressure for extensions and/or reductions in the tax.

Win/win all around, as far as I can see.

cs89 on April 24, 2008 at 2:29 PM

upinak: I believe Thomashton is trying to stay out of the way. Laws all require some form of environmental impact kind of thing; or maybe he works for the oil company to move that scarce tortoise out of the way, perhaps.

But oil activity is actually pretty high around where I live; the companies are drilling and looking all the time. The geologists predict some massive amounts of oil around here–we are talking MASSIVE amounts. Kind of like that strike in North Dakota, except we are actively looking for it.

Our whole economy could be changed if they finally get the right spot to drill.

Plus, if they find lots of oil and build a local refinery, our gas prices may go down! Yeah, wishful thinking…. but they won’t have an excuse to stay up, as transportation costs won’t be very high.

Vanceone on April 24, 2008 at 2:36 PM

The idea that the oil companies are preventing the building of refineries out of greed is just another loony conspiracy theory, and the quicker we rid ourselves of that Bill O’Reillyesque fantasy the faster we can get refineries built.

It is the environmentalists, many of them in Barack Obama’s backyard, who are preventing the building of refineries.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Vanceone on April 24, 2008 at 2:36 PM

The biggest problems are building a pipeline for your state and getting the permits for the refinary. As I am sure your State probably has no problem with a refinary, due to low employment and since it will create quite a few jobs, which also cover Oil/Gas jobs. It is the permits, that EPA Utah and EPA Federal, as well as Storm WaterDept. of the Dept Enviro Conservation Utah and a few other water conservations will have.

Drilling is just the beginning of a bigger industry. Exploration that leads to a true “Discovery” of oil is a great thing. Lets hope Utah goes the way of Alaska or Texas and goes for the betterment of the people and the State, then of just enviromental.

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 3:18 PM

Here is a interesting websites if anyone wants to know or have some idea on the Taxes you are paying on Gasoline and Diesel in your State. You need to get a hold of your Dept of Energy for correct costs. This also applies to many State for natural gas in their homes.

gaspricewatch.com

American Petroleum Institute

The Tax Foundation

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 3:39 PM

I support getting rid of taxes in general, but getting rid of this one temporarily would only encourage more use which would make matters worse in the long run. Let the market work. A use tax, like the gas tax, is usually a good idea – assuming the funds go where they are intended, for the repair of the roads used.

Illinois gas tax on the other hand is another thing — it is a sales tax PERCENTAGE — which means as the price goes up so does the tax. That only adds insult to injury during price increases like this — especially when you have a governor like ours.
DKK

LifeTrek on April 24, 2008 at 3:50 PM

To paraphrase Daniel Day-Lewis, “There’s a whole ocean of oil under our feet, and nobody can get at it…PERIOD”

I cannot for the life of me see one good reason for our country’s failure to produce a new oil refinery at any time during the last 32 years. Nothing threatens our country’s safety and prominence more than a looming energy crisis, and skyrocketing fuel costs and shortages. If you ask me, every single politician who stands in the way of building new refining capacity in this country AND allowing encouraging drilling in both ANWR and the Bakken Oil Formation should be tried and hanged for treason. I’m not joking. And as it should always be, failure to step up and introduce the motion and provide leadership should be tantamount to obstruction. We should start the trials with Hagel, and continue down the line until somebody gets the point.

steadyrock on April 24, 2008 at 4:13 PM

With gas prices that high, I think I’m gonna start working on my own invention:

A car that runs on distilled Bio-Feces.

Too late. Look here. They already have a pilot plant up and running at one stockyard in the Central Valley in California, that was featured in the LA Times.

unclesmrgol on April 24, 2008 at 4:19 PM

I can send you a canister if you want to try.

And don’t worry, no leaks. It’s well-wrapped in toilet paper. And UPS ships it for half the urine price.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Shouldn’t one of the benefits be that each person could generate their own fuel so no shipping or dispensing stations needed?

EJDolbow on April 24, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Pooping at the pump is not a feasible idea.

It’s time consuming and smelly.

You gonna need sterilization plus purification and that can only be done on large quantities of Feces, especially when my specially designed car is based on ‘Turd 93′ which is highly inflammable.

Therefore, Bio-Feces ‘discharge stalls’ are needed to dispense large quantities to many customers at the same time.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 4:56 PM

With gas prices that high, I think I’m gonna start working on my own invention:

A car that runs on distilled Bio-Feces.

Too late. Look here. They already have a pilot plant up and running at one stockyard in the Central Valley in California, that was featured in the LA Times.

unclesmrgol on April 24, 2008 at 4:19 PM

My idea is to use ‘Turd 93′ which is produced only by Human Beings.

Its benefits exceed those of ‘Crap 69′ produced by animals.

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 5:01 PM

Begin expediting the approval process for more refineries

How about having a process that can actually lead to an approval? It doesn’t matter how fast the process is if its just going to be denied.

taznar on April 24, 2008 at 5:06 PM

Begin expediting the approval process for more refineries — We have not built a new refinery in the US for 30 years. We keep expanding the capacity at existing refineries instead, and that also leaves the supply chain vulnerable to disruption when a refinery has to shut down. They now have to run at full capacity constantly in order to meet demand and keep prices down. Over the last two decades, we also now have to import more and more refined gasoline instead of crude to keep up with the demand, thanks in part to a lack of refinery capacity here in the US.
Ed Morrissey

Ed good post except it is wrong. Refineries at presently are at 80% capacity. the refiners are purposely decreasing capacity at this time to decrease supply because the high oil prices are costing them money to make gasoline. This is refered to as the “crack spread” and it is at very low levels. check out the stocks of the refiners VLO and TSO they are hitting 52 week lows because they can not make money. The last thing the refeners want is more refineries. they use the green movement as a dodge.

while I agree that we must increase drilling and using our own resources, there is a glut of ethonel on the market at the moment for the simple reason that oil companies are making a major push to keep the fuel from reaching market at the pumps. Ethonel is trading at about $2.50 a gallon at wholesale whereas gasoline is trading at $3.00. At these prices if consumers where offered E85 at .50 less a gallon what do you think would happen to gasoline? the refiners would go out of business.

as far as the mandates they are due in large part to the pollution caused by gasoline at different temps. during the summer gasoline causes different problems then in the winter. To end the mandates and not cause widespread pollution effects you would have to go with the strongest mandates thereby increasing the cost to the refiners. therefore the refiners would rather have the patchwork of mandate system. It costs them less then the alternative.

The laws we have on our books were not created in a vacuum and you can be sure that the oil companies like Exxon had a hand in the formation of those laws. there isn’t much in there that they don’t want. Even now with oil at record prices Exxon refuses to invest in more drilling and more capacity. they are using the profits to buy back shares and increase their div. the oil companies do not want more supply on the market. It was oversupply in the 90′s that caused a glut. they do not want another glut on the marketplace. the oil compaies and consumers do not have the same objectives when it comes to oil. sure Exxon will continue to drill for more oil but they are not trying to increase their production just hold the numbers even.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 5:01 PM

Wahington Dc would never run out of fuel.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:15 PM

I support getting rid of taxes in general,
LifeTrek on April 24, 2008 at 3:50 PM

What do you assume they would tax then?

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 5:16 PM

The idea that the oil companies are preventing the building of refineries out of greed is just another loony conspiracy theory, and the quicker we rid ourselves of that Bill O’Reillyesque fantasy the faster we can get refineries built.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 3:06 PM

explain again why the refiners are producing at 80% of present capacity when gasoline is at all time highs? they should be running at 95% capacity to rake in all that money right? they are losing money hand over fist and will continue to do so as long as oil is going up. refiners need stable oil prices to make money. they will always increase capacity when they need too at their present locations. this is not fantasy this is economics. refiners DO NOT want more capacity. they want enough capacity to met present demand. since the present system gets to keep gasoline at higher prices then would be if new refiners came online they are not pushing for more refiners. They do not want more.

would you want more capacity if it will increase your costs and decrease your profit? No the only why you will get more refiners is if the government requires them to be built.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Exxon refuses to invest in more drilling and more capacity. they are using the profits to buy back shares and increase their div. the oil companies do not want more supply on the market.
unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Yep.. so true! Pt. Thomson is a field that has been held by Exxon for about 30 years and NEVER developed. The State of Alaska is taking it back after years of court with Exxon.

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 5:01 PM

Wahington Dc would never run out of fuel.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:15 PM

Not even during Hussein Banana O’Bamba’s Administration???

He promised us “change” !!

Crap!

Indy Conservative on April 24, 2008 at 5:23 PM

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM

They are working at 80% because:
1. They are old,
2. They have issues finding or making replacement items for said refinaries,
3. They are not up to standards of EPA and close down certain portions,
4. They, in working with and in conjunction of oil, process certain viable oil based products dependong on what the Owner of the oil is asking.

It isn’t that I don’t agree but you don’t have all your facts together.

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 5:25 PM

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 5:25 PM

you are confusing the excuses for the reason. the reason is that the crack spread is at low levels and they can not make money on gasoline at present oil prices. the list you mention is excuses the refiners are using to justify the decrease. imagine the outcry from the population if VLO came out and said “we are going to decrease supply of gasoline because it isn’t high enough for us to make the profit we want.”

You number 4 is partly true. There is huge demand for disel in Asia and europe and the margins are better for disel than gasoline at the moment so the refiners are shipping disel overseas.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Hey unseen, I heard on the radio news yesterday a snip of an interview with a guy where he said that the high cost of oil is because of speculators who are buying lots of oil as a hedge against a weak dollar? Does that make sense?

I can’t think of any other reason why oil would be $120 a barrel, so perhaps that’s right?

funky chicken on April 24, 2008 at 5:56 PM

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM

The answer can be found in this CNN story which I can’t link to because for whatever reason CNN links don’t work here:

Oil steady after mixed supply data

Please note that the refineries are at 85.6% of capacity, not the 80% you claimed.

Gasoline demand is averaging 9.3 million barrels per day over the past month, a 0.9% increase over the same period last year. The rate of increase is less than usually seen this time of year, according to Flynn, who indicates that demand has been relatively flat for 2008.

That’s because gasoline prices are at historic highs. Gas hit a new record of $3.533 a gallon on average, motorist group AAA reported Wednesday.

According to the EIA report, refinery usage was higher than the previous week but still low for the upcoming summer driving season. Refineries operated at 85.6% capacity last week, less than the usual 90% for this time of year.

Refinery supplies are 7% above where they were a year ago, but with slumping demand and such a high cost of crude oil, refineries have not matched their usual output, according to Flynn.

“There’s no incentive for these guys to produce gasoline,” said Flynn. “Why would you make more of a product when people are buying less of it?”

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 5:56 PM

The US suspends gas tax…causing chaos in the oil market…prices rise to $4.05 per gallon.

tomas on April 24, 2008 at 5:58 PM

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Interesting. unseen, what is it you do? Since I am working with oil companies right now, and most of them deal with a refinery here in my State (actually 6 of them), I know what they have to deal with and what they do and do not make. Gasoline is not made up here, and has to be imported.
Thanks for the interesting analogy though.

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 6:06 PM

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM

More on declining refinery profits:

But earnings fell sharply on the refining and marketing side, to $502 million from $1.14 billion — a decline ConocoPhillips said earlier this month was expected.

The root of the problem was refining margins, which were squeezed by higher crude prices. Those margins reflect the difference between the cost of crude and what the company makes on refined products such as gasoline.

Industry observers expect other large integrated oil companies to face the same problem.

The issue — which is more acute for independent refiners — is that the jump in prices on refined products such as gasoline, while shockingly steep to consumers, has not kept pace with the rapid increase in crude prices. In fact, U.S. drivers have actually been cutting back on gas consumption, helping keep pump prices lower than they might otherwise be, experts say.

“The surge in crude prices squeezed refining margins to their lowest levels in years, as refiners were unable to offset the rise in crude costs through higher product prices due to weak demand,” Oppenheimer & Co. oil analyst Fadel Gheit said in a report this week.

Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 6:06 PM

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 5:22 PM

That’s because Sarah Palin is a freaking robo-trooper. I love that gal. (The fact that she shares my homestate of Idaho and graduated from my Alma Mater doesn’t hurt either.) If she doesn’t maker her way onto a GOP presidential ticket within the next decade, I hope at least she makes it to Secretary of Energy or Secretary of the Interior.

steadyrock on April 24, 2008 at 6:25 PM

steadyrock on April 24, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Ahhh Sarah is a Alaskan, born and raised. But yes we both love her. BTW she just HAD a baby boy and is BACK to work not even a week afterwards.. her 5th child! She ROCKS!

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 6:29 PM

can’t think of any other reason why oil would be $120 a barrel, so perhaps that’s right?

funky chicken on April 24, 2008 at 5:56 PM

that’s part of it, the weak dollar is a major cause. today for example the dollar rallied and oil fell $3.00. Other parts include security issues, increase in worldwide demand, believers in peak oil theory and don’t forget that oil is controlled in large parts by a cartel which controls supply to fix prices in a certain range. saber rattleing by Chevaz and Iran doesn’t help either. Lots of reasons for fear and greed to push prices higher.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 9:26 PM

Please note that the refineries are at 85.6% of capacity, not the 80% you claimed.
Buy Danish on April 24, 2008 at 5:56 PM

They were at ~81% last wed. so what about that story is a fantasy to you? Refiners can not make profit margins because of less demand so why would they want more refineries built that would increase supply? They are making less gasoline (old levels 90% vs new 81%-85%) during times of record gas prices. They should be making 95% if supply was short and more refiners were needed. the story you quote basically explains why building more refineries is not what the oil companies want. They want less supply and/or more demand to push prices higher. If they wanted more refineries they would build them or expand their present operations. they are doing neither. the goal of the oil companies is not to bring prices down it is to maximize profit and to hell with everything that gets in their way like the consumer of said product or the national economy.

also notice in your story that supplies are 7% more than last year. this should make gasoline cheaper than last year more supply less demand should cause prices to decrease to get rid of inventory. this is not the case. Why is that? funny how gasoline ignores the law of supply and demand that almost all other industry’s must observe.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 9:37 PM

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 6:06 PM

I’m a trader mostly stocks and options. Knowing the oil markets/gasoline markets/gold markets/soft commodities markets/stock markets/bond markets etc and why they are trading the way they are is needed to be able to make money.With the record prices refiners should be swimming in profits they are not. If supply was an issue they would be yelling from the highest rooftops for more refiners to be brought online. Again they are not. they would be running advertisments on TV and in the newspaper urging congress to pass bills to speed the way for quicker approval again they are not. They should be ramping production going into the summer driving period they are decreasing production. The margins are not there. They have to decrease supply of gasoline or increase supply of oil to get the margins right. Neither are happening. Supply is not the reason for high prices.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 9:50 PM

What about the commodities investors and speculators? I think I heard somewhere recently that until the early to mid 80′s oil was not traded on the commodities market. ABC had a story on it about a month ago about prices going up even though demand had gone down. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=4381215&page=1.

mrsmwp on April 24, 2008 at 10:09 PM

What about the commodities investors and speculators?
mrsmwp on April 24, 2008 at 10:09 PM

It is not so much the individual speculators has it is the major hedge funds. The trade for the last several months has been to short the dollar and go long commodities. that includes oil/gas/wheat/corn/cotton etc. since the falling dollar makes the prices of those things more. therefore it’s like adding NO to your returns. If the dollar falls 10% and oil goes up 50% you just made 60%. this trade has been working extremly well. today the dollar rallies and oil fall $3.00. wheat and corn also fell in fact all commodities fell. One of the little known things about this trade to the avg person is that the markets in commodities is relatively small compared to say the forex market or the stock market. So if the dollar continues to rally then the trade will quickly and sharply move to long dollar denomated assets like stocks and out of commodities. The commodites will correct sharply because of the small markets. therefore I would not be surprised to see (if the dollar strengthens) $800.00gold/$80- 90.00 oil and corn and wheat give up large parts of its move in a matter of days or weeks. Commodites increase like a staircase and fall like an elavator.

gasoline will of course stay relatively high until the refiners can recoup their profit margins.

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 11:04 PM

unseen on April 24, 2008 at 9:50 PM

LMFAO HAHHAHAHAHAA you are a trader. Whoopty DOO! Until you have actually worked in a Oil/Gas company, worked on a oil field, dealt with Federal/State/City governments and EPA on all issues and then have to deal with Economic relay guys who understand it a little bit more then you. I would highly suggest you stop giving advice and just buy them stocks. People like you are a thorn … seriously. Or better yet, become a roustabout and then come and talk to me about supply and demnad by how much you work.

LMFAO good Lord people come in all shapes and sizes of stupid!

upinak on April 24, 2008 at 11:30 PM

This congress is more concerned with the sale of Playboy and Penthouse Magazines on military bases than with the economy.

Rather than putting together proposals to allow more drilling and to build more refineries they are putting together proposals to ban the sale of Playboy and Penthouse on military bases. Just ridiculous but it goes to show that they don’t give a rats a_ _ about the American people.

All they care about is controlling the American people. For Gods sakes our military men and women are old enough to decide for themselves if they want to buy these magazines. They don’t need Congress to protect them. They need Congress to concentrate on things, like finding and refining more oil, that make our economy run.

The founding fathers,if they were around today, would start another revolution to get government out of “social do gooding” business and back to “The peoples’ business”.

Freedom has taken a back seat to Pandering, Influence Peddling and Socialism. It’s a shame but we need to get our country back.

Golfer_75093 on April 25, 2008 at 9:05 AM

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