Happy Friday! Oil hit record-prices today: $103.05 per barrel. Bully for us...
That tops the inflation adjusted high of $102.53 set in 1980. Oil first inched over $100 to welcome in the new year on January 2nd and has hovered around $100 since then, routinely spiking into new record territory. Now we've blown past the final record: the inflation adjusted highs reached in the '80s.
This news comes as analysts predict $4.00 per gallon gasoline when refiners switch over to reformulated blends in Spring.
Of course, you and I already know that. We see it every time we drive past a gas station, or god forbid, actually pull in to fill up our tanks!
You'd assume President Bush would be clearly aware of the state of gas prices as well, given how much they impact average Americans every day. Well, you might assume that about another president anyway... I wasn't too shocked to learn that President Bush is actually completely clueless that gas prices are soaring towards $4.00!
In a press conference today, he revealed his complete ignorance of what life is like for real Americans on the street in an interview that began with a simple question from Peter Maer of CBS News. Here's the transcript of the exchange, courtesy of NTYimes blog, "the Lede":
Q: What’s your advice to the average American who is hurting now, facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline, a lot of people facing –"I hadn't heard of that?!" Seriously?! Well that explains a lot...
MR. BUSH: Wait, what did you just say? You’re predicting $4 a gallon gasoline?
Q: A number of analysts are predicting –
MR. BUSH: Oh, yeah?
Q: — $4 a gallon gasoline this spring when they reformulate.
MR. BUSH: That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.
Like why President Bush has routinely blocked the US Congress's fiscally responsible attempts to re-invest wasteful oil subsidies to kick-start new sources of clean, homegrown renewable energy.
Three times now, the House of Representatives of the 110th Congress has passed bills that would end wasteful subsidies to oil companies designed to spur domestic oil exploration at a time when oil priced in at about $20.00/barrel. With oil prices at record levels over five times higher than when Bush took office, it's simply fiscally irresponsible to shower an industry recording record profits with taxpayer subsidies while denying the most promising and fastest growing clean, homegrown renewable energy technologies critical incentives that spur their growth.
The House passed their third attempt to correct this irresponsible tax spending and shift funds to extend critical renewable energy and energy efficiency tax credits, as well as support purchases of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Perhaps the third time's a charm, but this victory could be short lived, with President Bush again threatening to veto and a Republican-led filibuster in the Senate expected (again!).
But I guess if President Bush doesn't have a clue what oil and gasoline prices are really like these days, he can be forgiven for ignorantly and irresponsibly defending oil subsidies to Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and friends... These oil companies are incidentally reaping record profits off of the record prices paid by every-day Americans at the pumps, all while the economy tanks... But maybe President Bush doesn't know that either.
So maybe we should go light on President Bush... After all, he doesn't know any better!
But WE, the every day American tax payer do!
WE know that lavishing subsidies on established and highly profitable industries is a pretty poor use of taxpayer money.
We ALSO know that subsidizing the energy industries of the past will not help us solve the energy challenges of the future! To do that, we're going to have to be Energy Smart! We're going to have to invest in new, clean, domestic energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, energy efficiency, new 100+ mpg plug-in hybrid cars and more in order to have an energy supply that is sustainable, both environmentally AND economically.
WE know better, so let's let the Senate and President Bush know it's time to re-invest! Let your Senators know it's time to be smart with our energy subsidies.
Tell the Senate to pass H.R. 5351 the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008 so we can take a step towards a sustainable, prosperous and secure America!
[Update: For an excellent video, courtesy of MSNBC via Crooks and Liars, showing a clip of the President's press conference, as well as lots of hooey about why telecoms need immunity for spying on Americans, head here. Gotta love our Commander in Chief. I for one feel safe in his hands...]