"Gas prices – $4, $5, no end in sight, because some in
"Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?"
Cut to crowd, chanting: "Obama, Obama."
Yes, this is a real political ad on TV, complete with "I’m John McCain and I approve this message." It is not The Onion.
Reality check: First, Senator McCain’s proposal to "drill more in
Maybe by "family budgets" McCain meant rescuing families in 2018. Or maybe not. According to the EIA, the total amount of oil that this drilling would produce at peak 20 years from now would be less than 0.2 percent of world production. This would be too small to have any significant effect on the price of oil or gasoline, according to the EIA.
Last Sunday, on the ABC morning talk show "This Week," Senator McCain again mentioned "offshore drilling" as part of a plan to reduce dependence on foreign oil. He got away with it, since the host didn’t ask him how such a tiny amount of oil would have any significant effect on imports. He included a number of other things, too, but did not mention mileage standards for cars, mass transit, or conservation generally.
Fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles in the
Mass transit could also be greatly expanded, as today’s gasoline prices have made people more than ready to use it. This would not only save a lot more oil imports than offshore drilling, it would also provide jobs and an economic stimulus at a time when it is badly needed. The
A "green stimulus" package would give the economy a lift while simultaneously reducing energy consumption. This would include not only mass transit but also tax credits for homeowners and businesses to make building improvements that conserve energy. These would include renovations such as solar panels and insulation. Sizeable tax credits in this area would also help the ailing construction industry, an important part of our economy that has collapsed with the housing bubble.
All of these measures make a lot more sense than drilling for very little oil in environmentally sensitive areas, while trying to blame Barack Obama for rising gasoline prices.