Obama and McCain Offer Little Solution to Pump Prices

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Senator McCain is suggesting a summer break from the Federal 18.4 cents/gallon federal gasoline tax and Senator Obama wants a Windfall Profit Tax on “Big Oil.”

McCain also wants to allow offshore drilling on federal waters, build 45 new nuclear power plants and award a $300 million prize to anyone who can develop a superior car battery.

Obama wants to go after oil speculators and wants to give subsidies to solar, wind, ethanol and other alternatives.

Only McCain’s proposal to suspend federal pump prices will have any immediate impact. Relief for this summer is fading fast as we approach the July 4th weekend. With Congress’ annual summer break coming up, it looks like nothing will be done on this issue.

The only suggestion that will increase oil supplies is McCain’s support for President Bush’s request to stop banning offshore drilling in federal waters.

Obama’s call for a Windfall Profits Tax will subsidize high gasoline prices and remove funds that oil companies could use to find and produce more oil. This redistribution of income will not help lower gasoline prices.

The other proposals for new nuclear plants and subsidies on solar, wind and ethanol will take decades to take effect. Of course, oil and gas from new offshore fields in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans won’t add to supply for five to ten years at the earliest.
The reality of the candidates’ proposals is that 35 years of bad legislation has reduced us to few alternatives. The knee-jerk reactions show the lack of strategic thinking that has become a hallmark of governmental programs.

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