Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oil and Gas Prices, Nancy Pelosi (House Speaker) and The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Energy in the USA and Europe, 2008 Truck, Auto and SUV Sales

We were just watching a CNN interview with US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in which she again advocated opening up the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to deal with the US energy problems created by the soaring price of oil and gas.

Although our political direction is a centrist one, and even though we support Barack Obama in the current Presidential Election campaign, we can only shake our head at the stunningly bad judgment demonstrated by the Pelosi proposal, and we must side with Michelle Malkin on this gaseous issue. How did this woman get to be House Speaker?

Having just returned from three weeks in the United States, where the price of gasoline at the local gas station is in most States still less than half of what we pay here in Germany per gallon (recalculated from litres), we can only marvel at Pelosi pressing the panic button and urging for a very badly advised short-term stop-gap measure which will do absolutely nothing to combat the actual long-term problem.

One aspect of the problem, of course, as we have previously posted at LawPundit in discussing the 2008 automobiles, is that Europe long ago reacted to energy scarcity by switching to smaller cars, whereas America has continued to ignore all the energy warning signs, opting for gas-guzzling pickup trucks, SUVs and large sedans or other over-sized car models.

Understandably, car sales in the US have now plummeted to a 10-year low, and, as written by Bill Vlasic in the New York Times Business section on July 2:

"Even with some factories running at peak capacity, auto companies cannot meet the surging demand for small, fuel-efficient cars. At the same time, manufacturers are slashing production of slow-selling pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles."

America, welcome to the real world. I say this as a U.S. citizen. In Europe, you can go everywhere and still find people walking, because you simply do not have to drive everywhere. But in America, who walks, if you can drive? As one first-time visitor asked astonishingly some years ago in viewing the comparatively people-empty streets in the USA: "Where are all the people?" The answer is: they are in their gas-guzzling cars.

Americans who have recognized the true problem now have to see to it that America's leaders, including House Speaker Pelosi, also awaken to the realities of this world. What Pelosi should be addressing are the completely skewed energy attitudes in the country. Opening up the strategic petroleum reserves is no solution to anything.

The ISandIS Network

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