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This year has seen frigid winter temperatures, growing Chinese oil purchases to fill its strategic petroleum reserve, increased instability in Nigeria, continuing uncertainty regarding Iran, and selected refinery problems. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia apparently has used its position as the world’s reserve producer to moderate prices (it fears a fall in Western demand as well as greater effort to develop alternative fuels).
The best response to such a complicated market is fewer government controls. After all, it was deregulation in 1981 that encouraged new competition and attracted new supplies, putting powerful downward pressure on prices. The best policy today would be to expand production opportunities — it makes no sense to rail against petroleum imports while placing American lands and coastal waters off-limits to exploration.
Inefficient regulations, such as rules that effectively balkanize the gasoline market, should be adjusted. Barriers to refinery production should be lowered. Subsidies for various fuels, whether proven or potential, should be ended. Most important, Uncle Sam should leave energy prices alone.
It’s too bad, really, that the oil companies don’t control energy prices. If they did, the world would be a much simpler place. Instead, we must live with markets —imperfect, but still better left free than controlled by government dictates.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online