Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Suing OPEC

The House passed a bill to sue OPEC on Tuesday for breaking American antitrust laws. Somehow this seems like a poor idea to me. Does anyone really believe that threatening a lawsuit against a country is going to make them produce more oil? If anything, it gives them reason to produce less. The arrogance of the house in this threat is amazing to me. If they really cared and wanted to lower gas prices, they would allow more drilling and more refineries.

The House instead would like to wait and try to cap gas prices and create a false energy crisis in America, similar to the Jimmy Carter debacle in the '70s. The threats of windfall taxes only ratchet the pressue on the American consumer, not oil producing nations. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the rest of the OPEC nations are going to make their oil money regardless of what the United States does. If we continue to rely upon them for oil, they can continue to restrict their supply and actually make more money.

America must look for energy independence and not continue to wait for the Saudis to increase production. This includes looking for alternative energy sources and investing in new energies (and not just ethanol). But this also includes looking for new oil reserves in our own backyard. Why can Cuba drill off the coast of Florida but not the United States? Why is ANWR so protected that we can't look for additional oil reserves?

The House is just thumping their chests on an election year. They know for a fact that a threatened lawsuit will not help the American consumer. Just like the "gas tax holiday" won't solve the problem facing American drivers. Real solutions aren't that easy. The House just wants us to believe they are.

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