By Mack Samples|
As we all contemplate the price of gasoline there is one fact we might as well face. America will never again have a cheap supply of oil and the price of gasoline in the long run is not going anywhere but up. The sad part of that scenario is that we have no one to blame but ourselves. The United States government, American environmentlists, and market speculators have sealed our fate.
It really has little to do with Democrats and Republicans. While it is true that Republicans tend to favor a more liberal oil and gas drilling policy, they are also more in favor of allowing unscrupulous free market speculators play havoc with the market.
If you believe what you read, America is sitting on enough recoverable oil and gas to make us energy independent, and even an exporter, right now. But it will never happen because entrenched bureaucrats in the federal government, appointed mostly by previous and current Democratic presidents, already have policies in place that will prevent the drilling and creation of the infrastructure to bring it about.
There is no use debating it because it's all a done deal. Worse than that, environmentalists have figured out that they can keep drilling and infrastructure projects tied up in the courts until it becomes unprofitable for developers to continue.
So let's all just accept that. It's not going to happen. Republican politicians can blow all they want to about it, but it's not going to happen.
It is also unfair to blame OPEC and Chevez for the price of oil. It's not their fault. They are not holding oil off the market to bring up the price.
The price of oil no longer has anything to do with supply and demand.
The price is totally controlled by speculators who look for any excuse to bid up the futures market. When we have a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, it has practically no impact on the world's supply of oil, but the price shoots up just the same.
The same is true with the wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East. So far, those problems in the oil producing nations have not impacted the world's oil supply one iota.
Yet speculators have driven the price through the roof. But you can bet your Appalachian farm that the
Republicans are not going to do anything that would hamstring speculators.
Sadly, most of those speculators are Americans, Americans who don't give a whit about the price of gasoline for the guy who has to drive to work.
They don't even appear to have enough common sense to see that the price of gasoline might well throw the country back into recession. Their only concern is how many millions they can make in the futures market.
So I guess it is time to accept the fact that what we used to consider the American way of life is quickly coming to an end. The day is fast approaching when we will no longer be able to hook the camper behind our big V8 Chevy Silverado and camp upon the Williams River.
We will no longer be able to attach our livestock trailer to our Ford 150 or 250 and show off our cows at the county fair. We will no longer be able to live up in the head of a private holler and drive forty miles to work. We will have to cease enjoying the comfort of a nice big SUV when we go to Myrtle Beach or the Rocky Mountains.
It appears that we are all destined to cluster in big cities and ride public transportation. Worse yet, if we drive it all, it will be in electric cars or four cylinder puddle jumpers. It will be interesting to see how families with three small children get three (required by law) car seats engineered into a Smart car.
I am tired of hearing that we need to be more like Europeans. Thank the Lord, our ancestors were smart enough to get away from those people four hundred years ago.