In May 2007, Nancy Pelosi announced amid great fanfare that the Democrats had made July 4, 2007 Energy Independence Day. Castigating George Bush for his inaction on energy policy, Pelosi noted that gas prices had reached record levels and that the newly-enacted Democratic majority would take charge of energy policy to take back the leadership from “Big Oil”. Pay close attention to the chart behind Pelosi at the beginning:
Yes, that gas price listed behind Pelosi is $3.05, a slightly high estimate of the average pump price at the time. Pelosi brags about all of the action taken in the first 100 hours of the new Democratic Congress in boosting subsidies for ethanol — “sending money to the Midwest instead of the Middle East” — and stripping Big Oil of its “subsidies”, which were in fact tax breaks on production. What Pelosi failed to mention was that gas prices at the pump were $2.24 per gallon in January of that year, and that under Democratic leadership, prices went up over 30%.
And note that Pelosi complained that the highest price for gas could be found in her San Francisco district without ever explaining why. California socks its citizens with the highest taxes on gasoline, and Frisco tacks on even more. If Pelosi worried about her district so much, why didn’t she ask her state and her city to ease its bite?
What has happened in the year since the last Energy Independence Day? Prices have risen another 30% on top of the last increase. The oil companies still can’t drill in new areas, so the supply crisis has gotten much worse. Despite all of the money Democrats sunk into federal mandates and renewables, they haven’t come up with a single new source of energy. Instead of energy independence, we are now so strapped for domestic supply that we’ve had to go beg the Saudis to start pumping more of their oil for us. On top of the inflationary pressure from rising fuel prices, ethanol mandates have distorted the global food markets, creating shortages and starvation.
Pelosi promised us a New Direction and energy independence. A year later, we see that New Direction, but energy independence is even farther away than ever. Barack Obama would give us four years more of the same failed policies of demonizing energy producers, useless subsidies, and a clampdown on energy production. Every voter who pumps gas knows that the Democrats have failed on energy policy, and that four years more of this New Direction would wreak economic disaster.