Americans know who to blame for gas prices, does Gardner?
Blaming Obama and the EPA for oil prices has become the primary focus of Cory Gardner's efforts in Congress. He attacks the administration's policies at every turn and plans to introduce legislation allowing oil companies to avoid environment review while providing them with tax subsidies to further bolstering the industry's record profits. Since Gardner does and thinks anything Big Oil tells him, his actions should come at no surprise.
Bombastic rhetoric and joining the GOP HEAT(ing up the Climate) Initiative may sound good to his Tea Party faithful, but his message does not ring true to the majority of Americans. A recent national poll by CNN shows that Americans strongly believe oil companies and speculators are the biggest cause of recent high gas prices. The Obama Administration and Environmental Regulations are considered less to blame than all other potential causes of gas spikes, including the policies of Republicans in Congress.
The Energy Information Administration (largely defunded by Republicans) publishes data on domestic and global oil production, data which supports the validity of CNN's recent poll. Contrary to Gardner's rhetoric, domestic oil production under Obama has experienced its first substantial growth since domestic production began to plummet during Reagan's administration.
Beginning in 1986, domestic oil production began its more than two decade-long decline, going from nearly 9 million barrels per day in 1985 to less than 5 million barrels per day in 2008. It looks to me like Ronald Reagan and GOP policies are to blame for today's gas prices.
Domestic oil production in 2009 (8.3%) and 2010 (2.8%) grew faster than at any time since 1976. There are a few ways to interpret this growth. First, since Obama was in office in these years with positive growth, therefor Obama's policies have caused increased domestic production. I'm sure Gardner wouldn't like that interpretation.
Maybe Gardner would argue that this growth should be credited to Bush's policies, because oil production is a major undertaking and requires years from exploration to drilling. Production is a long process, but then how could he argue that Obama's policies have not affected production but have had any effect on prices? He couldn't.
Gardner's assertion that Obama's policies have reduced production and raised prices are factually wrong. His assertion that growth in domestic oil (at the expense of all other natural resources) will reduce gas prices also just doesn't ring true.
After two years of the highest growth in domestic production since the 1970s, Americans are facing some of the all-time highest prices at the pump. Instead of blaming the administration and the EPA, perhaps Gardner should look at some of the other potential causes of painful gas prices. 88% of Americans believe Oil companies deserve a great deal of blame or some blame. 90% believe oil speculators are to blame.
Looking into the effects of oil companies and speculators, though, doesn't appeal to Gardner's corporate sponsors. He will continue to pander to the Tea Party fringe's anger at Obama and continue to do whatever he is told by oil companies and Boehner.
Gardner isn't looking for real solutions to problems facing Coloradans. He is just saying whatever partisan rhetoric he thinks will get him more press. The people of the 4th District deserve better.