Having no actual accomplishments to run on, Republicans have seized upon fearmongering about gas prices. But since the truth doesn’t fit the narrative, Republicans lie about the facts on gas.
Republicans regularly accuse President Obama of “stopping domestic oil production.” This is not true. The truth is, under Obama, domestic oil production has been raised to the highest levels since the Carter administration and surpasses production under the intervening Repubican Presidents. In fact, the “number of oil drilling rigs in the U.S. hit a record last week, having quadrupled in number over the past three years . Between oil and gas drilling rigs, the U.S. now has more rigs at work than the rest of the world combined.”
Drilling doesn’t affect the prices. Opening the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t increase our gas supply. Our refineries are already at capacity. What does affect the prices is oil company business practices:
Oil companies are making huge profits while taxpayers subsidize them billions of dollars a year. Republicans want to increase the subsidies. Oil companies could take less profit and keep gas prices down if they chose to. They want Obama out of office, and would rather pocket the windfall than help consumers. They love the excuse to increase gas prices at the pump.
You may recall, back in January oil lobbyists threatened President Obama, warning they would make his life miserable if he didn’t approve the ill -advised Keystone pipeline. Well he was forced to deny approval because the Republicans voted to shorten the timeline for his decision, which prevented the approval process from being appropriately conducted. Then, since January, the oil speculators moved in and started jacking up the prices on futures. And voila! Gas prices go up and Republicans have a false issue to run on.
In other words, the promises being made by Republican candidates to magically lower the price of gas are just empty rhetoric. The truth is, no president, Republican or Demcratic can lower gas prices in the short term. So while it may be politically advantageous for the GOP to pin the blame on Obama, all they have to offer is promises they can’t possibly keep. [hat tip]