The president is proposing a plan that would actually make a dent in gas prices. And no, it’s not drill baby, drill because, as Obama explained, there’s a big hole in that idea.
…the problem is we use more than 20 percent of the world’s oil and we only have 2 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Even if we drilled every square inch of this country right now, we’d still have to rely disproportionately on other countries for their oil. That means we pay more at the pump every time there’s instability in the Middle East, or growing demand in countries like China and India.
Instead, the president wants to attack gas prices both administratively — meaning acting as allowed without Congress needing to do that whole law-passing thing of which they seem incapable — and legislatively. Both strategies start by attacking the real problem — oil speculation. Obama:
We can’t afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage, and driving prices higher — only to flip the oil for a quick profit…That’s not the way the market should work. And for anyone who thinks this cannot happen, just think back to how Enron traders manipulated the price of electricity to reap huge profits at everybody else’s expense.
Obama made good a long time ago on a campaign promise to close the “Enron loophole,” which allowed traders to evade American regulations by buying and selling electronically or overseas.
So here’s what he’s asking our representatives in Washington to do.